UK businesses interested in importing fruits from Guyana – GCCI

…upcoming trade mission to include agri research & development firms

Past GCCI President Timothy Tucker (far left), GCCI President Kester Hutson (second from left) and British High Commissioner Jane Miller (centre) following the meeting

Agriculture ranks among the opportunities for trade that United Kingdom (UK) businesses are interested in when it comes to Guyana, and according to the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), there is interest from the UK in importing fruits from Guyana.
Only recently, GCCI President Kester Hutson met with British High Commissioner Jane Miller, during which they discussed collaboration in the agriculture sector. Among the issues raised, however, is the importance of joint venture partnerships and maintaining phytosanitary standards.
“She noted that it would be beneficial for small scale local farms to form joint ventures to capitalise on economies of scale. She agreed that there is a need for local produce to achieve necessary phytosanitary standards, as there are UK businesses interested in importing fruits from Guyana,” the GCCI explained in a statement.
Also discussed is the planned UK Trade Mission to Guyana, which will be visiting from November 27-29, 2023. According to the GCCI, potential areas of collaboration between businesses from the two countries involved in agriculture, were discussed.
“The Chamber members spoke about gaps in the agriculture sector in Guyana, such as the need for training, and increased incorporation of technology to better attain phytosanitary standards necessary for the export of Guyanese produce.”
“Commissioner Miller noted that further discussions will be held to tailor the UK’s Trade Mission to include businesses that provide services specific to Guyana’s agriculture needs, particularly in the area of research and development,” GCCI further said.
In addition to Hutson, the GCCI group also included Chairman of Agriculture Sub-Committee, Brian Edwards; Vice Chairman of Agriculture Sub-Committee, Paul Archer and former GCCI President, Timothy Tucker. High Commissioner Miller was joined at the meeting by the Commission’s Country Director of the Department for Business and Trade, Sherwyn Naughton, along with Trade and Investment Assistant, Tocoma Alexis.
Trade between Guyana and the UK is already at an all-time high. Almost 25 per cent of the trade between the UK and the Caribbean is recorded between the UK and Guyana, with trade amounting to £1.2 billion in 2022 – an increase of £840 million from what was recorded in 2021.
Signalling continued trade and investments between the two countries, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Hugh Todd and His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Latin America and the Caribbean Jonathan Knott also signed a partnership agreement last November.
When it comes to Guyana’s agriculture sector, Guyana has been making great strides. The agriculture sector has shown marked improvements, with a recent inter-American Development Bank (IDB) report showing that the sector grew by 11.9 per cent and played a major role in the growth of the non-oil economy last year.
This year, Guyana will also be hosting the third agri-investment forum and expo, from October 20 to 22, under the theme “Accelerating Investment in Vision 25 by 2025”. The previous two editions were both held last year, one in Guyana and the other in Trinidad. During the first agri expo in May 2022, a number of regional agencies had participated in round table discussions following the opening of the event.
Donor agencies worked directly with the Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries to discuss their options and interests. Among the regional leaders who travelled to Guyana for the three-day event at the time were Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Keith Rowley and Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Motley.
Other Caricom leaders who attended the agri forum and expo included Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne; Prime Minister of Belize, Johnny Briceno; Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit; and Premier of Montserrat, Joseph Easton Taylor-Farrell. Moreover, Deputy Prime Minister of Bahamas, Chester Cooper and Agriculture Ministers from around the Region also attended the event.
During the inaugural event, Guyana served as the hub for potential investment talks.
Over 250 exhibitors had displayed their booths, with international stakeholders from countries such as Jamaica, the United States of America, Trinidad and Tobago, Ghana and Barbados. (G3)