Remarks by
Jean Ricot Dormeus,
Representative of the Organization of American States (OAS)

Linden Business Forum
July 23, 2019

Hon. MP Jermaine Figueira,
Your Worship the Deputy Mayor of Linden,
Mr. Lyndon Younge, Senior Vice President of the Linden Chamber of Industry, Commerce & Development (LCICD),
Mr. Victor Fernandes, President of the LCICD,
Distinguished businesspeople,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am happy to join you in this historic event in Linden, the first business forum ever in Region 10. This forum is timely as it is expected to contribute to a more dynamic business environment so that Guyana boosts its economy and takes full advantage of the advent of the oil sector. I trust that the forum and its attendant business expo will prove a fertile ground for networking, innovation and growth ideas, productivity tips and information sharing, and inspiration to launch new businesses, among other things. I also hope that Linden and other communities in its region will attract new investments, foster new business partnerships and set in motion a vibrancy model that can be replicated all over Guyana.

I wish to congratulate the Government of Guyana for its support to this event. It takes Government’s dedication and business friendliness to foster business creation and growth. Also my commendation goes to the Linden Chamber of Industry, Commerce and Development (LCICD) for such a promising initiative. Congratulations to Mr. Younge, Mr. Fernandes, Mr. Payne and all the other linchpins in this event.

A few weeks ago, the Organization of American States (OAS) partnered with the Government of Guyana and other stakeholders to deliver a memorable and eye-opening workshop aimed at facilitating the establishment of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) in the country. I had a chance to meet with one of Linden’s spirited sons, Mr. Staydon Payne, who showed a keen interest in absorbing new techniques for the development of Micro, Small and Medium size enterprises (MSME). I am glad to see him again at the grind serving the business sector.

Thanks to the OAS cooperation, in 2017 thirteen established SBDCs in Barbados, Belize, Jamaica and Saint Lucia served a total of 6,199 clients providing 9,178 registered advisory hours. Economic impact indicators also reveal that 285 businesses were started, 192 jobs created and a total of USD 7,793,063.00 was accessed.

The OAS understands that integral development lays on the bedrock of a sound business sector. Can you show me one developed economy without thriving businesses? Hardly. Therefore the OAS seeks to promote comprehensive support for MSMEs for unemployed people to find jobs, for the youth to secure business opportunities, and for the established enterprises to propel themselves into the cutting edge of profitability, excellence and innovation.

I have seen the potential of Guyanese businesspeople, agro-processors making strides in getting onto the international market, the extractive industries showing attractiveness and sustained profit, the construction sector growing, and service providers refining their offers, the banking and financial sector getting modernized, and the oil industry already making most Guyanese dream big. If we keep up the momentum of developing private initiatives, Guyana will climb quickly to leading position in the Caribbean while showcasing exceptional growth.

Achieving the potential of Guyanese businesses takes action, much sweat, hard work and endurance, but more than that it take great vision, dreams, and continuous learning as key for sustainable success. I welcome the Linden Business Forum as an excellent opportunity to inspire people to dream and find the courage to act on their dreams and set up businesses that will embark on the path of growth and success.

In closing, I wish to reiterate that the Organization of American States (OAS) will keep extending support for development exercises such as this forum, as part of its mandate to promote integral development in the Americas. I hope you participants will make the best of this opportunity. I trust that this forum will become a feature of the Linden business environment for stronger and better enterprises.

Thank you and God bless you!

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