Gaskin urges entrepreneurs to be positive as Berbice Expo 14 launchedPosted by: admin | Posted on: January 12, 2020
The 14th Annual Berbice Expo and Trade Fair was officially launched on Wednesday evening under the theme “Advancing Economic Progress through Professional Standards and Entrepreneurship”.The four-day event will be held at the Albion Sports Complex from October 5 to 8, 2018. The Expo was declared open by Business Minister Dominic Gaskin who urged entrepreneurs to be positive if they wanted to stay in business.He noted that they must be prepared to be “risk takers” who are prepared to put their “money where their mouth is”. “They must be prepared to work hard to ensureBusiness Minister Dominic Gaskin addressing the gathering at the launch of the 14th Berbice Expothat they make a profit,” Minister Gaskin said as he addressed the gathering.The Expo is being organised by the Central Corentyne Chamber of Commerce (CCCC) and according to Gaskin, the Ministry is pleased to be associated with the initiative.“These various organisations allow the Guyanese business community to be better informed and to have a stronger voice and Berbice businesses must have a strong voice because Berbice businesses must drive the Berbice economy,” the Business Minister declared.However, he noted, “This does not mean that we don’t need foreign investment or foreign businesses in Guyana … We need foreign investors to undertake large projects that we can’t finance locally; we need foreign investors in places where we lack expertise and experience. We also need foreign investors that understand international markets.”Referring to the theme under which the Expo will be held, the Minister explained that professional standards were needed in good entrepreneurship since standards play a key role in conducting business on the international market.Meanwhile, Region Six Chairman David Armogan noted that the Social Cohesion Ministry has been supporting small community businesses and although the programme was mainly being promoted in areas which were pro-government, it was a step in the right direction.Among the projects the Ministry has been financing are the construction of pens for the rearing of birds and animals and the construction of factories to make concrete blocks.“It is that the Government is trying to build capacity within the villages, and it is good to build the economy, but, at the same time, building villages’ economies with small plots of land cannot create development. That is what subsistence agriculture is,” Armogan pointed out, adding that Guyana needed to move away from subsistence.The Chairman further stated that the Chambers of Commerce needed to also focus on non-traditional areas in the agriculture sector. “For too long we have been looking in the direction of primary production. We need to start adding value to whatever we are producing.”Chamber President Poonai Bhigroog said the 2017 Expo was a success, adding that this year in excess of 22,000 persons were expected to pay to enter the trade fair while more than 120 exhibitors were slated to participate.The CCCC will be giving concessions to small entrepreneurs, continuing an initiative which was started last year.