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|President chairs 9th National Competitiveness Council meet|
|Sunday, 17 June 2012 00:03|
- discusses hinterland development among other matters
THE Ninth meeting of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) was held Friday at the Office of the President (OP) under the chairmanship of His Excellency, President Donald Ramotar. The NCC was established in 2006 following an extensive collaborative partnership between the Government of Guyana and the Private Sector, which resulted in the launching of the National Competitiveness Strategy (NCS) at the Presidential Summit on Private Sector Development.
The role of the NCC is to take ownership of the NCS, and act as a central point of policy leadership to ensure ongoing strategy development and implementation. The NCC is therefore Guyana’s highest level public-private advisory body, and provides strategic advice to the Government on economic development and competitiveness.
At Friday’s meet, a wide range of issues relating to national competitiveness were discussed. These included Special Economic Zones, Mergers and Acquisitions Legislation, Development of Lethem and Region 9 (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), and the Development of Hinterland Airstrips.
On the issue of Special Economic Zones (SEZ), it was noted that such an approach can be integral to an overall economic growth strategy to enhance industry competitiveness and also attract foreign direct investment.
On the issue of Mergers and Acquisitions, a key point of discussion was the fact that Mergers and Acquisitions are not currently addressed under any piece of legislation in Guyana.
It was further reported that two experts on Competition Law are currently in consultancy here, courtesy of the CDB-administered CART Fund, and will, among other things, seek to make recommendations regarding how the issue of Mergers and Acquisitions should be addressed.
In terms of infrastructure, a concept-paper regarding the development of Lethem and Region 9 was presented to the NCC. The paper was developed by the National Competitiveness Strategy Unit (NCSU) under the guidance of the Infrastructure Strategy Group (ISG).
Both the NCSU and the ISG are bodies that were established under the NCS in order to provide administrative and technical support to the NCC. The paper addressed the strategic importance of the town and region based on their ability to contribute to the Agriculture and Tourism sectors and also to serve as Guyana’s gateway to Brazil, a significant trading partner and the second largest economy in the Americas, after the United States.
A similar concept paper on the development of hinterland airstrips was also presented and discussed.
A Report on the National Competitiveness Summit, which was held on September 29, 2011, under the theme ‘Partnering to promote economic growth and development’, was presented for review and discussion.
The Report highlighted the recommendations of the working groups which comprised of Ministers of the Government, Technical Representative of the Government and members of the Private Sector.
Working groups were established to facilitate discussion in 5 (FIVE) thematic areas: Trade Strategy and Export Promotion, Manufacturing, Small Business Development, Tourism and Other Services, Agro-processing and Forestry, Infrastructure and Alternative Energy and Technology.
A Monitoring and Evaluation review of the NCS for the period 2006-2012, done by the NCSU was presented for review and discussion.
June 16, 2012
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