Modern legislation needed to complement investment – Hinds

President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Lance Hinds has called for the adoption of legislation that takes greater account of the direction in which the Guyana economy is heading.

“We need to work on modernising our legislation. The nature of the current investments in this economy and the varied types of interest means that there is going to be a level of complexity which is not necessarily supported in our current operational environment,” Hinds told guests attending last evening’s GCCI Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony,

Hinds’ urging comes against the backdrop of years of urging by the business community that government move to enact legislation that creates a more convivial environment for both the local private sector and foreign investors.

 Lance Hinds

The GCCI President who, since his election to office earlier this year, has made several pronouncements on the desirability of adopting legislation to provide greater protection for intellectual property used last evening’s forum to urge once again that the process be hastened. “As an example, the development, management and distribution of intellectual assets is a billion dollar industry. We need to upgrade ourselves to participate fully and compete successfully in that area, especially when one takes into account the enormous potential of the cultural industries sector,” he said.

And against the backdrop of the prevailing political unease that has followed last month’s prorogation of the National Assembly, Hinds declared that this was “a time for maturity and level headedness and not the political mechanisms that characterized our landscape in the most recent past. We are at the crossroads of our history and our future.”

In stark contrast to the political storm clouds that have gathered and to which he alluded in his address, the GCCI President highlighted some of the recent high points of private sector growth in the country’s economy including the recent launch by Courts, Guyana of a major new distribution facility, the creation of the new True Value supermarket, and the recent investment by Massy in a new distribution and logistics facility. Alluding to “the commencement of significant operations in the mining sector this year,” Hinds declared that “we clearly live in exciting times in Guyana.”

And alluding to the work of the Chamber in 2014 Hinds told the gathering that “it seemed like every time we turn around there was a delegation or a large company seeking to visit the Chamber to discuss the possibilities of entering the market and also to get a complete picture of the local business environment.”

According to Hinds what all of this means is that Guyana has become “a place of significant interest. All of this, for all intents and purposes, augurs well for Guyana in the medium and long term. It promises growth, diversification and modernisation of our economy. It should lead to more employment, upstream and downstream business opportunities.”

He simultaneously expressed the hope that this would “reduce the level of migration of our young people because of the level and nature of employment that will be available within this new and exciting paradigm.”