President Jagdeo reiterates competitiveness strategy for economic growth
January 4, 2007
PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo has said elements are embedded within the Guyana National Competitiveness Strategy that, when implemented, would result in a more stable and expanded economy, which will, in turn, create more jobs and generate additional resources for development of the nation.
The Government Information Agency (GINA) said the Head of State reiterated the policy in his New Year message to the nation.
“Sustaining the environment for economic growth, through continued prudent fiscal and monetary management of the economy, is one facet of government’s economic development plan for the next five years,” he stated.
President Jagdeo pointed out that, during 2006, Guyana’s economy recorded a good performance and he attributed the achievement to sound economic policies and increased investments.
“This was, undoubtedly, due to sound macro-economic management, pro-growth policies and increased private investment. It was also a vindication of our twin strategies of economic diversification and enhanced international competitiveness which are necessary responses to the challenges of an increasingly globalised trade and economic environment and designed to ensure a sustainable growth path for our country,”he stated.
The National Competitiveness Strategy was launched by President Jagdeo at the Private Sector Development Summit in May 2006, with the aim of giving Guyana the edge on competitiveness in the world economy.
GINA said the summit was Mr. Jagdeo’s brainchild and the five ingredients necessary for enhanced national competitiveness and greater economic growth are:
* a stable, macro-economic environment;
* an open, market-driven economy;
* a competitive market which supplies the productive sector with all the inputs needed to be productive;
* an accessible and competitive financial sector and
* a modern, practical, forward-looking partnership between the government and the private sector.
President Jagdeo assured that there is political will for enhancing the nation’s competitiveness and that it will remain in the forefront.
GINA said Guyana’s productive economy can be divided into nine broad sectors - sugar, rice, forestry, mining, non-traditional agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing, tourism and information technology - in line with those identified in the National Development Strategy.
The strategic focus of the strategy is diversification for future growth and competitiveness and already work has begun in several of the sectors mentioned to diversify and make them competitive, GINA said.
The agency said a few of the measures instituted and plans in motion to achieve the overall competitiveness of the national economy are:
* the US$169M Skeldon Modernisation Plan;
* the European Union (EU) 11.7M euros project to support rice competitiveness and develop a national rice strategy;
* the US$25M Agricultural Support Services Programme;
* conservation, protection, management and utilisation of the forest resources while ensuring that the productive capacity of the forest for both goods and services is maintained or enhanced;
* expansion of aquaculture;
* organic farming;
* information and communications technology for development strategy and
* the five-year Tourism Development Plan.
GINA said the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce has been mandated to work with the private sector and other key stakeholders to create and implement this strategic vision, enunciated by the Head of State, for enhancing the country’s competitiveness and supporting the diversification of economic goods and services.
According to Ms. Derise Williams, of the Commerce Division of the Ministry, follow-up meetings with the actions groups are being undertaken and the last was held early December at Grand Coastal Inn hotel on East Coast Demerara.