Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, during a recent visit to Region Two, Pomeroon- Supenaam was impressed with the operations of the cottage industries in the county.
The Minister observed that the region has tremendous potential for value-added products.
Minister Gaskin told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that he was impressed with the farms, and the fresh produce that emanate from Region Two.
Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin speaking at the launch of the Essequibo Agro Trade Expo
The Minister noted that through his work with the region, he has garnered the impression that the business community, as well as the regional bodies are ready to scale-up, value-added production for the export market, and noted that Government is ready to support them.
The Minister also suggested other ways in which the region can indulge in diversification to drive economic development, and listed value-added production and tourism as some of those avenues which the region can develop.
With regard to tourism, the Minister said that last year, over 235,000 people visited Guyana, making it a record year for the country’s tourism industry. He pointed out that the Region could use its natural beauty, and even tap into avenues such as agro-tourism, which can encourage investments.
However, Minister Gaskin said that the retail sector in the region is still experiencing difficulty, in terms of slow sales. He said that “there is not a lot of spending that is taking place, but the productive sectors are “lively”. The Business Minister said that a number of businesses are currently speaking with foreign buyers to export their produce.
Minister Gaskin pointed out that it’s a priority of the Government of Guyana to develop the country’s export sector. Produce can be processed into the types of products that are required for the international market.
“We just need to know what those requirements are, and it is not an impossible task to link our producers with the market that they need,” Minister Gaskin said.
Minister Gaskin held meetings with the Regional Chairman, Devananad Ramdatt, Regional Executive Officer, Rupert Hopkinson and the Essequibo Chamber of Commerce’s president, Deleep Singh. During these meeting the business sector in the region was discussed, while measurers were explained as to how Central Government and the region can work together to improve the region’s business sector.
Minister Gaskin visited Ramotar’s coconut factory and Alphonso’s Oil Mill in Charity where he observed the operations of both companies and expressed his satisfaction.
The Business Minister also visited Moruca in Region One where he held meetings with the business community, the Regional Chairman, Brentnol Ashley and the Toshao. The Minister was briefed on the business sector in the region and the areas in which the government can render assistance.