New wave of ‘quality’ partnerships brews as EU Chamber of Commerce launched

– fmr Digicel CEO appointed Chairman

The new European Union Chamber of Commerce (Guyana) was launched on Monday evening, presenting a unique opportunity to facilitate greater trade and allow easier access for Guyanese businesses wanting to explore European markets.
It is one that the Guyana Government is hopeful will bring a new wave of quality business and trade arrangements between the Private Sector and European businesses.
The introduction of the new chamber comes in synchrony with the visiting European Union Trade Mission this week, where delegates from 23 countries are here from 10 EU Member States to identify potential investment opportunities.
Former Digicel Guyana Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Gregory Dean was appointed Chairman of the new chamber. The other members include Vasudeo Singh, Martin Afiez Rea, Yanet Vazquez Espinola Singh, Anand Harrilall, Ryan Ramjit and Martin Cheong. They will serve as directors of the chamber.
According to Dean, networking, sharing best practices, advocating for members, supporting EU companies and allowing Guyanese companies to enter the European market will be some of the positives coming out of this new establishment.
Many times, he admitted, Guyanese companies have expressed willingness but have been faced with difficulties in entering the European market. This is expected to change.
“We believe we have a unique position due to the 27 countries making up the European Union, thus ensuring all sectors are catered for…I think the range of companies here for the mission is also a testament to this,” Dean posited.
EU Ambassador to Guyana, Rene Van Nes underscored that Guyana is different from other oil-producing nations, in the sense that it has a diverse economy that is continuously evolving and expanding.
The EU diplomat shared, “It has an incredible growth potential and yes, it is based on oil and gas. But what makes Guyana special is that they realise that oil and gas revenues are only there for a short period of time, the resources in oil and gas have to be invested in other sectors to sustain the economic growth.”
“To harvest that incredible potential of Guyana, you will need to build partnerships. I know Guyana and the Guyanese private sector want to build partnerships. I think that is exactly what the European companies are here for and what it is they want to explore. This country will embark on an amazing journey.”
Public Works Minister Juan Edghill in his remarks spoke of the new wave of quality and style of partnerships coming out of this chamber. He reiterated that Guyana is open for business.
The Minister voiced, “It is my hope that networking will be developed. We will develop synergies and possible partnerships and then we have investment opportunities being created that will bring a new wave and a new breath of fresh air both in terms of type, quality and style…We’re not closed to any group.”
He stressed the need for direct flight routes between Guyana and Europe now that increased partnerships are kicking off, for which the Government is in talks with carriers in order to position the country as a gateway for connectivity.
“It’s part of our strategic plan of making Guyana a gateway of connectivity between the Caribbean and South America. We want to do the long hauls to Guyana and then dispatch to the other parts of both the Caribbean and South America. That’s what we’re working on,” Edghill relayed.
Meanwhile, Deputy Director General for the Department for International Partnerships, Myriam Ferran highlighted that the private sector fosters effective investments and creates local value.
“What matters is you build direct contact, from business to business, from Guyanese companies that we want to support and European investors that want to establish themselves here and create local jobs. This is exactly what we want.”