GO-Invest, Export Barbados to set up trade offices

The Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) has engaged with Export Barbados as part of a series of business-to-business collaborations set out by the respective Government agencies to enhance trade relations.

Representatives of Guyana and Barbados engaged in discussions to drive trade

The Guyanese delegation arrived in Barbados on Monday to showcase their businesses at Agrofest 2022 which will be held in Barbados between May 28 and 29.
Of the 56 entities that are present, 11 were involved in several strategic business-to-business level meetings with members of Barbados’ Private Sector, where they gathered information and forged partnerships.
These delegates represent a cross-section of sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and agro-processing, jewellers, craft and industrial supplies.
According to GO-Invest, this initiative is timely and much-needed as the two countries seek to further develop strategic partnerships between their private sectors.
Chairman of Guyana’s Private Sector Commission, Paul Cheong suggested that the St Barnabas Accord which was signed between Barbados and Guyana is a signal for the Private Sector to become more active in driving economic growth.
The question of the removal of trade restrictions to ensure easy and affordable access to products and services was raised. The Private Sector is willing to invest in growing its capacity to supply the region’s food needs, however, trade restrictions and limited access to affordable and appropriate logistics services must be addressed.
CEO of GO-Invest, Dr Peter Ramsaroop stated that “Both President Ali and Prime Minister Motley prioritised the implementation of the St Barnabas Accord and are wasting no time in putting the necessary resources in place to ensure that this elusive dream of a single economic space is realised.”
In the midst of the global challenges facing the region, driven in large part by COVID-19, resulting in increasing supply chain disruptions, the CEO indicated that they are in collaboration with Export Barbados to set up Trade and Investment Facilitation offices in Guyana and Barbados.
This will see Barbados having a constant presence in Guyana and vice versa. This move by GO-Invest and Export Barbados is intended to ensure that commercial initiatives can be easily and expeditiously operationalised. The representative of GO-Invest will be housed within the Secretariat which has been set up by Export Barbados in Pelican Village, while the representative of Export Barbados will be housed within the Guyana Office for Investment in Guyana.
This collaboration will also seek to address some of the financing challenges which have been identified by key stakeholders. The initiative of Export Barbados will establish the Export Bank of Barbados. This will see businesses in both countries benefiting from development financing opportunities.
The Executive Director of the Barbados Manufacturing Association (BMA), Shardae Boyce cited pineapples and other non-traditional agricultural imports as immediate needs which can be supplied from Guyana for the production of rationing packages as part of their Rationing Pack Initiative.
Additionally, Executive Director of the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA), Nizam Hassan suggested that his membership is keen on developing such partnerships with their Barbadian counterparts.

“We are looking forward to working with BMA and their members to understand the needs of the Barbados market in order to ensure that products which are supplied from Guyana meet the expectations of the Barbados consumer both from a pricing perspective as well as in terms of quality.”
The CEO of Export Barbados has also indicated that his team will be working with their Guyanese counterparts to develop the Guyanese export market for Barbadian products, citing that currently, Barbados exports approximately $25 million worth of products and services to Guyana. Over the next three years, Export Barbados through its collaboration with GO-Invest and the Guyanese Private Sector seeks to move this total to $50 million.