Outgoing GCCI president advocates for passage of AML/CFT Bill

(www.guyanachronicle.com) -Group also elects new Council

THE Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) made $41.3M in the Financial Year 2013, outgoing President, Mr. Clinton Urling announced last Thursday.

Mr Clinton Urling receiving his award for outstanding performance in the private sector from Ms Padma Prashad

Mr Clinton Urling receiving his award for outstanding performance in the private sector from Ms Padma Prashad

He made the announcement at the 125th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Duke Lodge, Duke Street, Kingston, Georgetown.
“The difference is almost a 100 per cent turnaround from the revenues which we had last year,” he explained.
Urling said: “We have continued to offer services to our membershipthat allow them the opportunity to expand and develop their businesses. We have done this while preserving and increasing our financial capacity to ensure the organisation’s long-term success and sustainability.
“We want programmes and incentives that encourage Guyana’s best and brightest to stay and develop our Private Sector, thus creating more jobs in the country. We want a clear and concrete diversification and manufacturing strategy that removes our dependence on international commodity prices,” he added.
Proud of the accomplishments of the entity under his stewardship, Urling said: “It has been a tremendous honour to lead GCCI for the past two terms and I would like to express how grateful I am to have been given it.”

CRITICAL DECISIONS
He urged policymakers at the level of the National Assembly to act in the best interest of the people of Guyana, by making critical decisions that would enhance transparency and economic growth.
“We want local government elections to be held this year,” Urling asserted.
He called on the Government to give the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) all the tools and resources it needs to get this done forthwith.
Urling also made a request for the passage of an effective Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Bill in Parliament.
The AML/CFT Bill is currently at the level of the Special Select Committee of the House and Guyana has missed not one but several critical deadlines imposed by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF).
The country’s non-compliance position is leading it down a road of “blacklisting” which can, consequentially, lead to economic turmoil, Urling warned.
He made calls, too, for the operationalisation of a National Competitiveness Council, the Public Procurement Commission (PPC), the implementation of modern intellectual property laws and a Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) that would accelerate the time taken to process imports and exports.
Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr. Nicole Giles applauded Urling and the GCCI executive for their unwavering support of the Private Sector, noting that they have demonstrated the spirit of entrepreneurship and investment.

PRIVATE INVESTMENT
“There is little that can match the power and scope of private investment when it comes to innovation, prosperity, and security of developing nations such as Guyana,” she remarked.
As she continued to underline the critical role being played by the Private Sector, the diplomat noted that, “without private investment, sustainable economic development is nothing but a dream. In Guyana, small and medium scale enterprises are playing a foundational role in transforming the country’s economic landscape.”
A 21-member Council was elected behind closed doors at the AGM where, among issues discussed and approved were the reconstruction of the office building and amendments to the existing rules of the organisation.
The new Executive Management Committee will be elected on Thursday, April 3, to serve the 2014-2015 year.
The laws governing the Chamber do not allow for an individual to serve more than two terms as President and Urling departs with an unblemished record that shows the major steps the institution has made over the last two years, gaining added recognition for the stance taken on critical matters.
Simultaneously, GCCI continues to accelerate growth within its realm. Urling was previously awarded for his contribution to GCCI and his outstanding performance in the Private Sector.
By Rebecca Ganesh-Ally