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CARANA recently hosted a national event formally presenting USAID’s Guyana Trade and Investment Support (GTIS) Project to the people of Guyana. GTIS is a four-year, $6 million activity implemented by CARANA that is maximizing Guyana’s benefits from international trade agreements and positioning target firms to exploit new market opportunities. Held in the capital city of Georgetown, the event was attended by approximately 100 of the country's private sector and political leaders, including President Bharrat Jagdeo, and U.S. Ambassador Roland W. Bullen.


 
Several presentations were made. Chief of Party Bud Eaton, CARANA Vice President Santiago Sedaca, and competitiveness expert Alec Hansen presented GTIS’s ongoing work in Guyana, emphasizing the project’s current cluster development efforts. Two well-known Guyanese and Jamaican entrepreneurs discussed their experiences building internationally competitive, export-oriented companies in the region. Their remarks sought to encourage the Guyanese business community to look beyond their country's challenges and to embrace opportunities presented by expanded trade.

The event closed with remarks from Ambassador Bullen and the President Jagdeo.

Ambassador Bullen emphasized the agility that GTIS has displayed in providing just-in-time assistance, including recent work that helped the Guyanese shrimp industry reach certification for exporting to the U.S., as well as assistance to the peanut and furniture industries with standards and product development which will enable these industries to more actively participate in the US market.

President Jagdeo, an economist in his own right, called upon the private sector community to embrace a more entrepreneurial spirit by developing competitive products for international markets in lieu of the more traditional approach of pursuing government protection and regulatory and tax breaks. The President spoke of his early support for GTIS and his feeling that the approach taken by the project was the right one at the right time.

For further information on the GTIS Project, please contact CARANA Vice President Santiago Sedaca, or visit the project website at www.gtisproject.com