Common sense call Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
January 5, 2002

THE year just ended was tough.
President Bharrat Jagdeo noted in his New Year's address to the nation that some of the strongest economies in the world suffered decline and recession.

He said Guyanese successfully emerged from the challenges of 2001 but pointed out that with factors such as dwindling bilateral aid budgets and assistance from multilateral financial institutions, among other factors, it is not going to be easy to deal with future problems.

Unless, he added, "we tackle them internally as a united people and externally in solidarity with the Caribbean Community and hemispheric partners."

On a somewhat upbeat note, private sector officials have said that business over the holidays was "generally good", reporting an increase during the last quarter of 2001, compared with the somewhat gloomy atmosphere that prevailed earlier in the year.

They were quick to point out, however, that business peaked or picked up the most a couple of days immediately before Christmas.

Mr. Edward Boyer, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) was happy that it turned out to be a "real Guyanese Christmas."

Guyanese needed the morale booster as the year drew to a close and according to Mr. Boyer, it was "a very good season and I think the consumers enjoyed a price advantage this Christmas more than any other Christmases before".

The difficulties ahead, however, must be faced realistically.

"The economic climate of the world is very cold", President Jagdeo has said and referred to the challenges to be confronted. He has talked about supporting new areas of wealth and job creation, promised greater incentives to the private sector and said his government will work with labour to provide better conditions and benefits for workers.

In the circumstances, we applaud Mr. Boyer for his common sense call in appealing to the business community to put Guyana to work immediately and to shed their "wait-and-see attitude".

What Guyana needs is a spirit of patriotism, he said, and he is so right.

Other leaders in the private sector should also be urging "our citizens, both at home and abroad to refocus their energies on rebuilding this great country."