Govt single windows helping to improve ease of doing business – GCCI President
…hails collaboration between Govt, private sector
While more remains to be done with Government’s aim of improving the ease of doing business in Guyana, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) President, Timothy Tucker, on Tuesday acknowledged and lauded the steps that have already been taken in the single window system.
The GCCI President was the first speaker in the line-up for the Guyana Basin Summit, which started at the Pegasus hotel on Tuesday. He spoke about the business climate in Guyana and some of the challenges businesses face, such as lack of inter-agency cooperation.
Tucker said that these steps include the single window system that would allow investors to conduct their business and lodge documents for various agencies, through one entry point. He also spoke about Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and its importance.
“Even though we look at the lack of interagency cooperation in the Government sector as an issue, Government is rapidly dealing with that issue with various single windows that they’re creating for permits, for revenue authority and other agencies of the Government is working clearly, daily, and hard to get sorted out so that business in Guyana can move, smoothly.”
“We realise that Guyana is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and that private sector growth is important. So, with that in mind, ICT is very important and of course you will see many new technology companies and that, by itself, is an opportunity for you as an investor to invest in ICT,” the GCCI President said.
He noted that projects such as the gas-to-shore pipeline and the industrial zone planned at Wales, show Government’s commitment to solve the problem plaguing business and production in Guyana. This is a project that he noted will slash the energy costs and allow for more production.
“Cost, quality and reliability of electricity is a major issue in Guyana. Cost of electricity in Guyana is the third highest in the hemisphere. But like everything else in this country, Guyana’s private sector is working closely with the Government to resolve the issues as we find them.”
“We clearly see that the Government has projected that by the end of 2024, cost of electricity in Guyana should be reduced by 50 per cent with our gas to power project. With that, it shows commitment by both private sector and Government to solve the issues of doing business in Guyana,” Tucker said.
Tucker went on to champion the opportunities for investment in Guyana, noting the growth taking place in ICT, agriculture and other areas. The Guyana Basin Summit will last for three days and is expected to attract thousands of visitors and delegates from across the world.
The Ease of Doing Business Index is one of the most comprehensive studies done by the World Bank, in which it looks at key indicators such as registering, compliance, taxation, obtaining loans and similar factors such as administrative procedures. It also looks at legal measures such as protection and settlements.
In its last report, the World Bank ranked Guyana 134 out of 190 countries in its Doing Business Report for 2020 as it relates to the ease of doing business. However, the Government has been embarking on setting up a single window system.
Earlier this year, Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud had reassured investors that Government is working on the single window system as a mechanism to enhance the ease of doing and setting up businesses in the country.
“What we’ve done, and which the President [Dr Irfaan Ali] has put a lot of emphasis, is in the issue of a single-window system – whereby, for instance, if you want to set up a business and need a number of permits or whatever paperwork is required, you go to a single-window arrangement. So, a lot of effort is being put into that,” Persaud had stated. (G3)