(Photo: Dr. Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana with the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados ahead of the UNCTAD meeting.)
Guyana and its regional counterpart, Barbados, have embarked on a widescale partnership which will see 6,000 Guyanese being trained in the hospitality sector, and the creation of a Gold Market Hub for tourists visiting that country among other initiatives. The partnership stemmed from a meeting between President Irfaan Ali and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley during the recent United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Updating the media on his recent overseas travels on Friday, the President said, “you know Barbados has an established world-class hospitality programme, and they’re going to support us in the training of 6,000 Guyanese who will function in the hospitality sector.”
Responding to questions from the media, the President said the programme will be designed to ensure that all interested Guyanese benefit. “Why we have to move aggressively with the 6,000 is because we have a lot of investment in the hospitality sector that is coming and we need to have the technical capacity, the human resources to manage and to work in those hotels that are coming,” he added. The tourism sector will also see a boost with on-air promotion and information exchange in Barbados.
To add value to Guyana’s gold, the Governments are looking to create a Gold Market Hub concept in Barbados, where tourists can purchase gold jewellery made in Guyana. Regarding this, the Head of State said the Government will set the framework while the private sector will be the driver of the initiative.
(Photo: A delegation from Barbados recently visited Guyana to further collaborative efforts)
“In Barbados you have some capacity, in Guyana you have some [and] we have to now create a win-win situation; the mechanism as to how the market will be established, the type of incentives that will have to be given, the type of tax regime that will have to be established; those have to be ironed out,” he explained.
Other areas of collaboration include an exchange of professionals to remove barriers to trade in the agriculture sector. Through this partnership, a Guyanese official will be stationed in the Ministry of Agriculture in Barbados and a Bajan in the Ministry of Agriculture in Guyana so that the common hassle, barriers and bureaucracy can be removed.
Further, the two CARICOM countries’ leaders have discussed the sharing of port space to facilitate trade and reduce costs for the movement of goods between the two countries.
President Ali explained that “what we discuss is to identify specific port space for Barbados in Guyana and for Guyana in Barbados to reduce the costs of transportation, to improve efficiency, to enhance trade and to deliver products at a far cheaper cost to the markets.”
While in Barbados, the President also hosted bilateral talks with President Kenyatta of Kenya and agreed that technical teams would meet to elaborate on an agenda.