– PM Phillips says launch of BRITCHAM represents closer economic ties between Great Britain and Guyana
GUYANA and the United Kingdom (UK), on Tuesday, advanced efforts to solidify their economic partnership with the launch of the British Chamber of Commerce Guyana (BritCham Guyana) to facilitate and promote trade and investments between the two countries.
Chairman of BritCham, Faizal Khan, at the launch, said that in 2022, for the first time in history, Guyana and the UK surpassed £1 billion and he is confident that this number will continue to grow.
“We are very confident those figures will only continue to grow and BritCham will do everything we can to try and continue to facilitate that,” he said.
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, in his address, said that the establishment of BritCham represents another important development in fostering stronger and closer economic ties between Great Britain and Guyana.
“These economic bonds build on the strong ties of history and shared interests between Britain and Guyana,” he said.
The Prime Minister added: “From our perspective, it is also a recognition of the growing interest in our country’s burgeoning economy and the growing trade and investment between Great Britain and Guyana. We now have a Chamber of Commerce that would allow for… opportunities for the expansion of trade and tourism.”
While Guyana is also expanding its economic relations with various countries and regions of the world, he said it is only natural that such expanding relations include the country’s traditional economic partners, such as Britain.
“Our economic relations, however, revolve around more than air transport and oil and gas. Guyana aims to become a major regional hub for food security, energy security, and the provision of environmental services,” the Prime Minister said.
He added: “We would like to see increased cooperation between Guyana and Great Britain in these areas, and it is my wish that your visit here will lead to a qualitative shift in our economic relations.”
He also took the opportunity to reiterate Guyana’s appreciation for Britain’s definitive and unambiguous support for free and fair elections in Guyana as well as its support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Guyana’s Republic.
United Kingdom Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, David Rutley, said that the relationship between Guyana and the UK is a strong one.
“What is really clear is there are many more opportunities ahead of us… this is a really strong relationship and the other thing that I love is it builds on some momentum that’s being seen here,” he said.
Rutley added: “Of course, there are growth opportunities but our relationship is built on shared values. It’s built on shared history often and on people to people, relationships… so together we can do a huge amount of other things.”
He related that the partnership agreement is phenomenal and said that they are going to build to make it an even more meaningful one.
Meanwhile, Khan said that as a dual British-Guyanese citizen, the moment highlights a new era in the relationship between Guyana and the UK.
“It offers the prospect of an incredible future in partnership between the two countries which have a deep shared history. It’s a win for Guyana and a win for the diaspora. That’s exactly what we see BritCham as, being a win for Guyana and a win for Great Britain,” he said.
Khan related that BritCham is present to provide a forum for persons looking to invest in Guyana from the UK and vice versa.
He added that they will create an active network and forum, through which companies and individuals can speak openly and freely to share experiences and ideas.
“It is no secret that when you enter into a new territory, experience helps you navigate…so, what we here at BritCham are looking forward to do on the ground here in Guyana is helping the British business community that are coming in navigate and vice versa,” Khan said.
He related that they also have members in the UK for Guyanese businesses looking to venture into the UK markets.
Additionally, the British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller said that this is a “huge time” for the UK, given that British Airways recently made their first flight to Guyana.
“I think it is going to be important for trade and for tourism, but tonight is an important leap forward in our relationship, not just British Airways, but particularly the launch of the British Chamber of Commerce,” she said.