GMSA President Rafeek Khan has called on the Government to establish an export-arm body to market local products and assist in research and development for the local private sector.
Rafeek Khan, President of the Guyana Manufacturing and Service Association (GMSA), believes the Government should be expending funds to support market research and development in the private sector, to support the international marketing of manufactured products.
“In order to innovate, we have got to get research and development happening in our country. Private sector in general has been challenged t0 do research and development on our own. Spending money, marketing and promotion on our own. We want to see more support in research and development.”
He was at the time addressing private sector executives, diplomats, and government ministers at the annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner.
To boost efforts in research and marketing manufactured products, Khan says the Government should establish an export arm.
“Jamaica, Barbados, Saint Lucia and Trinidad; they all have an export arm of the Government, funded by the Government and private sector sits on these boards, promoting exports from these countries. Guyana needs to follow suit.”
He stated that Guyana’s manufacturing sector currently accounts for 2.2 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – a figure he hopes to see rise.
He says there are no tariffs on raw materials exported to key international partners while manufactured products carry a 15 to 20 percent rate.
Khan further highlighted that the manufacturing sector will become increasingly importing as the economy grows.
“In order to have a vibrant economy, you need a vibrant manufacturing sector. For decades we have seen Guyana has been a primary economy focused mainly on exporting our natural resources across the globe.
“As our economy is growing, you’re going to be seeing a secondary economy and more a tertiary economy as well.”