Last Updated on Saturday, 22 April 2023, 18:35 by Denis Chabrol
Former Guyanese international cricketer Ramnaresh Sarwan is President of the India-Guyana Chamber of Commerce whose formation was announced at a business roundtable where India’s Foreign Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was the featured speaker.
No representative of the new business organisation spoke at the event that was held at the Guyana Pegasus, but the chairman of the proceedings said the chamber was formed to promote and facilitate trade, investment and cultural exchange between India and Guyana. The formation was supported by the Indian High Commission and dates back to the Guyana high-level visit to India.
Mr Sarwan owns a building at Providence, East Bank Demerara that houses the Massy supermarket and New Thriving Restaurant, and the nearby Amazonia Mall.
City businessmen Steven Jacobs and David Fernandes are the Senior Vice Presidents while private sector banker Shaleeza Shaw has been named.
Organisers also said there would be no press conference with the visiting Indian External Affairs Minister during his April 20 to 24 visit.
There were exchanges between Indian chemical producer, UPL, and the Ministry of Agriculture; a memorandum of understanding between the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Private Sector Commission, a joint business council with the Private Sector Commission and the Confederation of Indian Industry, a memorandum of understanding between CII and the Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber, and Guyana Office for Investment and Decipher Health Records.
The logo for the newly-formed business organisation was unveiled at the roundtable where Dr Jaishankar said he and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) foreign ministers agreed that there should be an annual business summit. “We agreed that it would be our endeavour every year to hold an India-CARICOM business summit- one year in the Caribbean, one year in India- so I’m pointing this out to CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) with the hope that it will be an early mover in this regard,” he said.
He described that closed door meeting as “very useful” as he was able to address the “common points” and “demands”. He said there was also scope for training and exchanges as part of efforts to build capacity.
Guyana’s Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh encouraged Indian businesses, particularly manufacturers and producers, to establish operations here and take advantage of duty free movement of goods within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) common market as well as other trade agreements that the regional grouping has.
He highlighted that other advantages of doing business in Guyana are the English language and the Commonwealth legal system.
CII Chairman Jai Shroff also invited top Guyanese business leaders to attend the 9th India-Latin America & Caribbean (India-LAC) to be held on August 3 to 4.