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Finance Minister scolds manufacturers over 5% contribution to national earnings

Finance Minister Winston Jordan believes the local manufacturing sector is not doing enough and has to take stock of itself and that its contribution to national earnings today is a mere five percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—a far cry from four decades ago when it stood at 15 per cent.

The Minister of Finance on Thursday (March 2, 2017) met with members of the media for a press engagement in the Ministry of Finance Boardroom, where he criticized the sector for not taking advantage of the current incentive regime and flat out bad business practices such as opting for Banks—which could be expensive—as against utilizing the Guyana Stock Exchange.

 The manufacturing sector, according to Minister Jordan, would first claim “the environment is not right, the incentive framework is not right…When you check our incentive framework I believe it is far more healthy than it was in 1970s”

 He contends that some of the issues affecting the local sector surround expensive bank loans and said “too many businesses don’t make use of Stock Exchange, they tend to go to banks for financing and that could be expensive.”

He pointed to complaints from the local manufacturing sector that relate to infrastructural problems such as poor facilities, expensive electricity which leads to self generation along with an un-skilled labour labour force—many of whom are unemployed—and said many of the problems can be overcome.

Minister Jordan was adamant however as it relates to the incentive regime. He said “the incentive framework is there…that is not much of a major issue.”

 He said manufacturers “have to see things in a more modern light, a newer light so to speak.”

The Minister drew reference to Sante Fe Mega Farm in Rupununi, Region Nine, owned by a Barbadian Investor, Kyffin Simpson.

Minister Jordan said, “Look where he is and look what he is doing, he didn’t hang around in Georgetown and so on, you didn’t hear him complaining everyday about what government is not giving him.”

 The Finance Minister said the Barbadian investor currently controls 99 per cent “of our trade with Brazil…just out in the savannahs there, people don’t like hear you say that.”

 The Minister said the reality is “our manufacturing sector has to take stock and understand precisely; we are here to help, we are certainly here to help but we have to be as innovative as the next person.”

 He lamented imports appearing on supermarket shelves and being sold out, such as plantain chips for Costa Rica saying “we have to take stock of ourselves.”

 Jordan posited introspection to determine whether there are underlying issues that hinder the growth of the industry locally.

  • Col123

    Mr Minister, we know where the trillions of stolen assets and drug dollars are located. Why the harassment of them poor investors … do you really believe them folks gon invest them illegal money obtained in the last two decades. Remember the economy is clean chap… no need to inject dirty money!!…Off subject here but after all the remarks last week from Jhaatie and Eric about jailing them PPP thieves …we still waiting fo wen we gon jail all a dem!..

    • brain dead idiot

      he got to start wid he own afc and apnu first they sell all the street in the city

  • Muhammad Raoof

    Confidence…the lack of….what we are experiencing is a symptom, rather than a cause. The symptom of the business community’s lack of confidence in the Governments ability to create that environment for business growth.

    It was only this week we were made aware via the Minister of State that the Government will be “jump-starting” the economy because of the “apparent” slow down. The Governments plan is to accelerate its expenditure by the awarding of contracts. This follows on the heals, the concerns highlighting the fact that the economy is not moving in the right direction and the issue of investments.

    If the Government is really serious about jump starting the economy; money will have to be in the citizens pockets. Passing wealth among a few businesses, will not sustain any recovery.
    .

    • Col123

      easy bro..the govt a save money with recycled envelopes and paper…that will help the economy…these chaps don’t know the difference between economic and political instability..and how to get folks to invest….they think a wine down will bring an economic fortune… and boom up the economy..

  • Watching On…

    I am convinced now that this man cannot manage the Finances of a fish fry or bbq.
    Investors need to be given incentive. Why would I buy my fish or chicken for my fish fry or bbq and I don’t believe I will turn a profit.
    It is government job to create the environment not belittle the local sector.

    • Col123

      Please be kind …Not this man alone… the whole bunch a dem put together…all they can do is raise taxes pun them poor working stiffs…

  • Gtloyal

    Mr Jordan, take a peep at Mr Trump’s speech where he mentions fair trade instead of free trade. Guyana, with its small population, simply does not have a large enough market where local manufacturers can compete with all the other countries that have free access to it, allowing some to even practice “dumping”. This compels local manufacturers to produce for the international market mainly. And competing there is another story. This particular issues should be looked at again by government.
    What about bureaucracy and the ever present greasing of the palms when anyone wants to invest?
    Add to that the high cost electricity, very bad roads, (especially out of GT) and generally poor infrastructure and basic services that contribute to a high cost of production. Then consider our porous borders. Due to one neighbor’s economic crisis, its available low currency value permits traders to bring in merchandise at a quarter of what it would cost to produce it in Guyana.
    And there are many more. Many more.
    These are the things that the government should be looking into. Get it right and then everyone can talk about manufacturing. It just don’t happen any old way. People invest so as to earn a profit, not to be nice.
    And get the MoE to start preparing people for our labour market from the kindergarten level!

    • Col123

      You have the ability to ask tougher questions than those!..