Business Outlook Bright

– GCCI Survey

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) members are optimistic about business this year with 71 per cent anticipating an increase in revenues; however, the multimillion dollar companies are still plagued by a number of issues such as high taxation and an inefficient electricity system.

The GCCI made this disclosure while unveiling the chamber’s 2013 Attitudinal Survey on Tuesday. From a total of 65 member companies, 87 per cent of the respondents indicated that business activities were either strong (78 per cent) or very strong (nine per cent). On the contrary, 10 per cent of the companies said business was either weak or very weak.

Profits

Indicators also showed that 91 per cent of the 65 members raked in profits in 2012. This trend is expected to continue in 2013, with 71 per cent anticipating increases in revenues or stable economies.

“All but two respondents, 94 per cent expect financial costs to either increase significantly or somewhat in 2013. Only five per cent expected costs to decrease in 2013,” the chamber disclosed.

Despite growth, the member companies have expressed concerns over several issues that continue to hinder their progress.

“They have identified finding and keeping good employees as their number one challenge followed by high tax rates, high costs and unreliability of electricity and crime and security, we also had inefficiencies in the legal system and also custom in efficiency.”

According to the findings of the survey, 42 per cent of the member companies had difficulty soliciting and keeping good employees while 31 per cent said high taxation remains an obstacle while 22 per cent registered their dissatisfaction with the high cost of electricity, a service which has proven to be unreliable.

On the issue of securing skilled personnel, the GCCI said the University of Guyana (UG) and other tertiary institutions have failed to produce graduates who meet the requirements of the private sector.

“The programmes that are offered at the university might be inadequate or sometimes not even relevant to the private sector realities of today.”

The survey was designed to solicit the perceptions of members on the government, the National Assembly and other matters of mutual interest.

High praise

The government of Guyana came in for high praises with 60 per cent indicating that the Donald Ramotar administration has been moderately supportive or very supportive.

The GCCI explained that “we saw 45 per cent of our respondents indicating that government’s support to the private sector was very positive; 51 per cent said it was moderately supportive and a little more than one third indicated that the government’s attitude towards business is neutral.”

However, 19 per cent characterised the government’s attitude toward business as moderately unsupportive or very unsupportive.

National Assembly

However, 83 per cent of the companies are dissatisfied with the progress made in the National Assembly during 2012. Nevertheless, the companies did not fail to acknowledge the progress made in the areas of political and economic stability, improved tax system, infrastructure development, investment in alternative energy sources and upgrade and transformation of the University of Guyana, developments that are making the country more competitive.

Meanwhile, some of the multi-million dollar projects were endorsed by members of the chamber; others such as the Marriott Hotel and Guyana-Suriname Bridge were placed on the back burner.

“Coming out on top, we have had the Amaila Falls Project, being the number one priority project, that was followed by the Lethem-Georgetown road, interior road constructions and improvements, came in at the top of the list also. The private sector members also felt there is a need for a recycling plant to address the sanitary situation,” the GCCI noted.

Attitudinal Survey

Maritime ports, the CJIA expansion and the new Demerara Harbour Bridge were all placed on the front burner as priority projects. The GCCI Attitudinal Survey was first conducted in 2012 by the chamber’s secretariat. It was designed with the aim of gauging members’ intentions, needs, concerns and the obstacles to fulfilling their performance potential. It was also initiated to act as an effective relevant and well-articulated sounding board for possible government and other policy makers’ interactions, interventions and relationship-building initiatives to assist chamber members and wider private sector throughout Guyana.

Original Article Source: http://www.guyanatimesgy.com/?p=13373