Guyana, UK celebrate triple treat but Gov’t wants more support for faster, greener growth

removal of the visa requirement for Guyanese travelling to the UK and the return of British Airways to the Guyana/UK route.

But even with these massive wins for the advancement of the diplomatic and business relations between the two countries, Guyana wants the UK to know that it respects the economic relationship beyond air transport and oil and gas.

So says Prime Minister, Mark Phillips as he joined British High Commissioner, Jane Miller and visiting UK Minister, David Rutley at the High Commissioner’s residence Tuesday night for a reception in honour of BritCham-Guyana.

PM Phillips said while the Chamber offers an advantage to expand trade and tourism, Guyana also wants support for its ambitions of becoming a regional hub for food and energy security and environmental services.

“We want to see increased cooperation in these areas… a qualitative shift in our economic relations,” the Prime Minister reasoned.

He particularly referenced the partnership agreement signed last November between Guyana and the UK and said he would like to see action to implement the pact intended to deliver innovation, technology and knowledge for greener growth in Guyana.

The formal creation of BritCham Guyana was announced back in February on the sidelines of the 2023 International Energy Conference and Expo at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown.

British and Guyanese companies are encouraged to contact BritCham Guyana to sign up as members to enjoy the full benefits of its support in exploring and accessing each market.

Alongside the promotion and facilitation of bilateral trade and commerce, BritCham Guyana will foster an open networking environment where companies can engage and discuss issues impacting their businesses and UK-Guyana trade, including events such as member meetings, business breakfasts and seminars.

The independent, non-profit chamber will serve as a leading promoter and enabler of trade and investment between the UK and Guyana, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. BritCham Guyana will also work closely with the British High Commission in Georgetown and UK government departments to support their advocacy work in Guyana.

Faizal Khan, Chief Executive of GK+B (Photo: Keno George/February 16. 2022)

High Commissioner Miller said she is convinced that even with other well-established and competing business representative bodies, there is space for BritCham-Guyana to succeed – a sentiment supported by the United Kingdom Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State David Rutley.

“It was needed,” he said while pointing out that the Chamber has already begun its work with some 30 businesses already onboard.

The new organisation will be chaired by Guysons Group Chief Executive Officer and UK/Guyanese citizen, Faizal Khan, supported by a board of leading business executives with close ties to both countries, with an office at Pegasus Suites and Corporate Centre in Georgetown.

Khan spoke at the reception Tuesday night and said it is a clear win.

“It’s a win for Guyana and a win for the diaspora, a win for Guyana and a win for Great Britain.”

He is confident that the business relationship between the two countries will continue to grow and said BritCham will be there to support it, promoting steady trade, investment and commerce.

Guyana is the UK’s largest trade partner in the Caribbean. In 2021, the country accounted for 21.6% of all the UK’s trade with the Caribbean and, to date, there has been a 45.9% increase in trade between the two nations for 2022.

The move to establish the new business chamber comes on the heels of the announcement of visa-free travel to the UK, a direct British Airways flight and the signing of a partnership arrangement by Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd and His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jonathan Knott, CMG in November 2022.