Imports must be of high quality --Da Silva

Guyana Chronicle
January 31, 2000

NEWLY-APPOINTED Minister of Trade, Geoffrey Da Silva yesterday asserted that the Guyana Government will not accept a situation in which Guyanese companies are pushed out of the market.

Government must ensure that imports to this country are of high quality, the Minister said, adding that the `watchdog body' the Guyana National Bureau of Standards is moving to ensure that imports such as chicken, are of high quality.

But he cautioned that "the bottom line is, we have to be able to compete at the same level or better" adding there is a perception by some persons on the international scene that Guyanese do not appreciate quality.

"We are working with importers to ensure that they sell quality products on the market," the Minister told a gathering at the opening of a $35M Bounty Meat Centre Franchise, in Kitty.

The facility, located at the corners of Pike and Alexander Street, is a joint venture between the JP Santos Limited (JPSL) and Bounty Farm Limited (BFL) of Water Street, a subsidiary of the John Fernandes Limited consortium.

Minister Da Silva also recalled last week's visit to Guyana by Trinidad and Tobago Foreign Minister, Mr Ralph Maraj and said that trade between the two countries was among the issues discussed at length.

The Foreign Minister of the twin-island Republic had accompanied a private sector delegation for the launch of the Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago Bilateral Commission. This Commission offers new opportunities for the acceleration of trade and investment between the two countries, especially with regard to the export of rice to T&T, the establishment of joint ventures and the enhancement of people-to-people contact.

Minister Da Silva, who said Guyana values very much the role which J.P. Santos and John Fernandes Limited have played, added he is aware they can play a much greater role in this country's economy and further afield.

They have exemplified quality service and quality products, he said. (Wendella Davidson)