The Chamber recognized the need for a high calibre Human Resource Pool. Consequently, the Executive Director, Mr. Dev Sharma, was involved in extensive levels of management training. Staff for various government and private sector agencies were trained in multidisciplinary management skills that allowed them to function more effectively within their respective designations. Companies and organisations which benefited included: Laparkan, Royal Castle, National Hardware Guyana Ltd. The Public Utilities Commission, Anlim, Guyana Stores, The Georgetown Public Hospital, The Bank of Guyana, Hand In Hand Insurance Company and others too numerous to mention. The Chamber, through its Director, also collaborated with international agencies, the ILO and the UWI Business Institute to bring to Guyanese, quality management skills at affordable rates.
Concomitant with its training programme, the Chamber had established since 1996, a Schools Business Sensitisation Programme which was aimed at creating a synergy between the business community and the high school system. So far, over twenty schools in and out of Georgetown has benefited from this programme.Public Awareness
The Secretariat regularly issues press releases on matters of importance to the business community. Moreover, “Global Perspectives”, a local television programme, was pioneered by the chamber’s director, and a wide range of topical issues impacting on business were discussed on a bi-weekly basis.
As the oldest and most recognized voice of the business community, the Chamber has effectively represented its members on a wide range of issues. Internationally, the Chamber has represented Guyana on high level matters ranging from peace talks in Northern Ireland, Trade Fairs, the Guyana/Brazil super Highway and other matters of significance to Guyana.
In November of 2002, the Executive Director presented a paper to a conference in Brazil hosted by the International Trade Network on Business implications of the WTO Trade remedies in EC, Canada and the US. This paper is currently hosted by the International Trade Centre official website.
The Secretariat is also integrally involved in matters pertaining to telecommunications, electricity, Customs, the Mayor and City Council, Government etc, were all dealt with and inevitably resolved to the satisfaction of the Business Community. From since 1996, the Chamber has been instrumental in advocating the position of its members via its presentations to government. In fact, the Chamber has annually submitted proposals for the National Budget.
The recent crime spree which threatened to undermine the Business Community and indeed the very fabric of the Guyanese nation was tackled headlong by the Chamber- The Chamber secured the services of an internationally renowned crime consultant and held several training seminars to sensitise its members about crime prevention. The Executive Director, Mr. Sharma, also designed a questionnaire that was part of the National Crime Consultation Committee of which the the GCC&I was actively involved.
The Chamber has exponentially increased the commercial possibilities of its members through its collaboration with other chambers internationally. A memorandum of understanding has been signed with numerous other Chambers of Commerce including: The British, USA, Columbia, Surinam, Brazil, Cuba, etc. Additionally, the chamber is now a member of the British/Caribbean Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Local members benefit from several of the informative and representative possibility the British/Caribbean chamber offers. The Chamber has also hosted several trade expositions and its members have been direct beneficiaries of these expositions.
Despite the trying economic times, through astute management, the Chamber was able to show surpluses. This is a reverse from a situation inherited prior to 1995 when the organisation was in the red. The Secretariat hosted successful annual dinners, and offered consultancy services. Membership fees were a major contributory factor to the budget.
The Chamber’s President, Mr. Edward Boyer, was instrumental in spearheading a refurbishing drive that improved the aesthetics of the Secretariat. Much of the infrastructural improvements costs were borne directly by the President.
The Chamber’s accounts are audited by Deloit and Touche and no record of financial impropriety has ever been reported.
The Chamber has on several occasions mediated on behalf of its members who faced problems with government and other private sector organisations. These cases are documented.