Guyexpo passes Cricket World Cup test
-- organisers

Guyana Chronicle
November 2, 2006

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ORGANISERS of this year’s Guyexpo are patting themselves on the back that, despite huge crowds, the trade show and exposition was incident free and augurs well for Guyana’s hosting of games in Cricket World Cup 2007.

“It was excellent -- we have done exceedingly well in terms of numbers, crowd control and the high standards of our local manufacturers,” Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister, Mr Manniram Prashad exulted at the closing Tuesday night.

The trade show, which opened last Thursday, pulled large crowds and security and other officials said it was to be used as a dry run for Guyana’s staging of matches in next year’s Cricket World Cup (CWC), expected to draw thousands of overseas visitors.

Guyexpo 2006 Co-Chairman, Mr Keith Burrowes, who thanked all the exhibitors and visitors for making it a success, said the event was incident free and this augurs well for Guyana’s hosting of CWC 2007.

Coordinator, Mr Percival Boyce, yesterday told the Guyana Chronicle the response and support from the private sector and the public was “unprecedented and overwhelming”.

Noting that the crowds at times were “unmanageable” in terms of sheer numbers, Boyce said the “high point is that the entire affair (event) was incident free despite the huge crowds.”

Prashad said local manufacturers showed great improvement in their products this year, pointing out that in three months, there will be an assessment of Guyexpo’s impact on the business community.

A committee comprising members of the Ministry of Tourism, the investment agency, Go-Invest, and the private sector will be conducting the assessment, he said.

Prashad said he was heartened by the general response and the work of local manufacturers but cited the need for improvement in terms of packaging and upping the standards of local products.

“A lot of focus has already been placed on these two areas. The ministry, along with Go-Invest and the National Bureau of Standards, are working towards the enhancement of the quality of products for export,” he said.

Over the years, concerns were raised in several quarters that Guyexpo is often centred on Information Technology (IT), and while there was a special IT section this year, Prashad said there was more space for local manufacturers since the exposition is traditionally centred on local produce.

Boyce said the support and response from the private sector should be seen in the context of the relatively short notice of one month to prepare and assure it that Guyexpo was still on.

He also believes the trade show and exposition has outgrown the allocated area for its hosting at the National Exhibition Centre at Sophia, Georgetown.

“At this point in time, having had a first-hand assessment of the crowds turning up to Guyexpo on an annual basis, I think we have reached a point where the event has outgrown the size of the site allocated for its hosting”, Boyce said.

The Guyexpo Coordinator said he will be “taking this issue up with the decision makers” shortly.

The theme this year was ‘Exhibiting Excellence!’ and like previous events, it offered a wealth of opportunities for exhibitors to enlighten visitors on the wide array of products Guyanese can produce and promote.

Foreign participants were from India, China, Indonesia, Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Suriname.

There was also a large delegation from neighbouring Brazil.