EXECUTIVE board members of the standing committee on International Trade & Investment of the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association (GMSA) on August 24 last met with three representatives from the Barbadian consultant group “Hamilton Associates” which has been commissioned by the CARICOM Secretariat to interface and extract data that are relevant to identifying what is necessary to create more enabling environments for manufacturers in the region as matters relate to the Rules of Origin & The Common External Tariff.
The Barbadian consultants have made GMSA their first stop in their effort to compile this comprehensive report that can have significant impact on production and trade related issues: hats off to the Ministry of Foreign Trade & International Cooperation.
Many significant issues were raised and ventilated between GMSA executive board members and the Hamilton consultants that allowed both sides of the table to clearly evaluate the importance and impact of the Rules of Origin & the Common External Tariff on regional production and trade.
Critical issues regarding quality assurance, competitive pricing, volume production and sustainable supply management were raised in regards to Cement, the TCL group and the relevant subsectors and their preparedness to with-stand international competition in light of the global melt-down and the shifting interest of manufacturers in the more developed countries to find markets in the Caribbean region.
It was pointed out by the Hamilton Associates consultants, after one of GMSA representative raised the issues on Non-Tariff Barriers, that it is a matter currently being address by the relevant stakeholders. The executive members of GMSA strongly believes that (CTB) as a trade related issue can post serious challenges to the manufacturing sector and by extension the wider Caribbean region, if goes unchecked.
The issue of Regional Integrated Production was underscored as a strategic approach for cost effective production and increasing the competitiveness of Caribbean businesses. However, as the executive members of Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association put it, the re-attempt of this integrated approach to regional production would require a more mature stakeholder approach that represents the collective interest of all.
Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association secretariat and executive members are committed to the process that lends to the fashioning of enabling environments to promote private sector development, social growth and economic progress. Keep checking the press for more up-dates on these issues.