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Exporters urged to see Guyana as emerging trade frontier

Published:Monday | January 30, 2023 | 12:53 AM
Aubyn Hill, the industry minister.
Aubyn Hill, the industry minister.

Around 60 business operators and managers recently returned to Jamaica after embarking on a mission in Guyana to scout more trade opportunities.

The delegation, which visited between January 24 and 27, was one of the first major initiatives after the rebrand of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce as Jamaica’s Business Ministry.

“We’re going to have to export more … . If we are only selling to Jamaicans, we will never become well-developed … . It is so vital to the country,” Industry Minister Aubyn Hill said at a recent rebrand ceremony at the AC Hotel in Kingston.

“We have to make the changes. We cannot remain poor people. We must export to the world. There’s a lot right here on the shoulders of Government and businesses of Jamaica to balance the trade issues,” he added.

Guyana, which is on the cusp of reaping untold benefits from recent oil finds, is expected to see a surge in commerce. The commerce minister wants Jamaica to enjoy the by-products of that development by driving exports to the southern Caribbean nation.

Hill also referenced Singapore as an economy to be emulated because of the strong fundamentals of trade and standards of living.

“We must build logistics from here, and Guyana gives us that great opportunity. So, if you have been thinking about that, think about logistics,” he said.

To satisfy the projected demand from Guyana on Jamaica, Hill urged more young persons to become trained and certified.

“I’m talking about apprenticeship … . Businesses must think of much stronger responsibility, great responsibility for training …. If we don’t train our people well, we’re going to remain poor, and I don’t like poor. I know many Jamaicans don’t like poor,” Hill said.