This year’s ‘GuyExpo’ has become an occasion for celebrating the dynamic results that have been flowing in social and economic progress from an enlightened “partnership” between the public and private sectors. While reflecting varying perspectives in their respective addresses at Friday’s official opening of ‘GuyExpo 2012’, both Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and acting Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Irfaan Ali, chose to underscore the importance of this ‘partnership’ that explains some of the economic gains for which Guyana now stands out among fellow members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The thousands of Guyanese of all walks of life who turn out for this premier trade fair of the nation, which is increasingly proving more popular and well supported, would have heard Prime Minister Hinds emphasising at Thursday’s opening ceremony:
“We Guyanese, over the last decades, have been able to provide better for ourselves each year through our work…providing a greater amount of goods and services, whether from our own direct production , or in partnership with others…”
The Prime Minister, who delivered the feature address on behalf of President Donald Ramotar (who was at the time in New York for the new session of the United Nations General Assembly but is now back), pointed to the very significant growth in national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from US$321 million in 1992 (when the PPP returned to government) to US$2,251 in 2011. Further per capita GDP increased from US$451 per person in 1992 to US$2,869 last year.
Conceding that Guyana still has a far way to go in comparison with some other CARICOM states, he stressed that the “overarching principles” of the government’s economic strategy have been, and continue to be, “prudent management of the economy, and with that goes balanced budgets and macroeconomic stability…”
For his part, Minister Irfaan Ali was to hail the government/private sector partnership as “the greatest catalyst” for Guyana’s forward march in economic growth.
In this context, it is, therefore, to be expected that the government and private sector would closely collaborate in the promised establishment of a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and a national Credit Bureau.
To judge from the public’s responses , it is quite evident GuyExpo is now firmly institutionalised as a national development initiative—thanks to the shared vision and commitment for a deepening public/private sector partnership.