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The Story within the Story…By Leonard GildarieIn my column last week, I spoke about the need for Guyana to begin to see itself as a country that can achieve its potential and become a real economic contender in this global village.Leonard GildarieIn fact, we can be a real economic force in the Caribbean.  However, this cannot start without us beginning to develop an actual opening of the country’s strategy that allows for our products to be marketed abroad – a strategy that brings in investments to Guyana.We spoke about the need for us to figure out what it is that we are good at; what some will even call our competitive advantage – the thing that we can do better.It may involve being better with less resources; a better quality of a product or even skills that are well-developed and allow our people to master it.The simple example that comes to mind is sugar.  Sugar during the colonial era was the economic backbone of Guyana and even though it is not doing well now, the entire sugar cultivation process is something that we have mastered.Similarly, rice.  It is an agricultural crop that our farmers know about. As a matter of fact, yields, despite the prices, have never been so good. We are getting more per acre than before.As such, based on my understanding of competitive advantage, it is an area that we can specialize in.  Of course, there are other areas that can be explored. Our entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive.I find that apart from the fact that we are not exactly zeroing in on what exactly is the combination of the economic sectors we should focus on, we remain very poor in marketing Guyana.Our marketing is focused on the Diaspora.  Of course, nothing is wrong with the Diaspora.Thousands of Guyanese people remain very patriotic and it appears they all want to serve.I for one believe that what I do; what we do here daily at Kaieteur News, is serving our country.We want a better Guyana. It does involve,Cheap NFL Jerseys, most of the time,Wholesale Adidas Hockey Jerseys, saying and writing the unpopular things.Apart from informing people of what is happening around the country, we are the watchdogs of the system, making sure that it is working correctly, and being a voice for the small man – demanding better services and that decisions be made that improves our lives.So yes,Wholesale Jerseys From China, I am serving…we are serving our country.Marketing to the Diaspora is easy, but we should not remain satisfied. The world is a big place. We can and should look elsewhere. I am not saying we should discount the value of the Diaspora – it has been very important to us and will always be valuable in Guyana’s development.We have to, however,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, turn and focus on the wider world – bringing in large scale investments that will move Guyana; that will create jobs for youths.  And that is where it is important to bring in the overseas missions – the embassies, High Commissions etc.Now we know that those entities are there to forge political alliances and it seems from the popular and most observable perspective,Cheap Jerseys USA, to issue visas to travelers coming to Guyana and to renew passports of Guyanese.That seems to be an important function in countries where there are large Guyanese communities.  I do believe that we should move beyond that…way, way beyond.Building political goodwill and working on diplomacy will always remain among the core functions of the missions. However, we could benefit so much more if our Guyanese overseas representation can play a bigger role in becoming marketers – to attract those critical dollars from foreign investments.We cannot just be setting up booths at business fairs. It is not enough. Our overseas representation needs to be knocking on the doors of companies, actively pursuing them and expertly convincing them to invest in Guyana.The targeting of companies has to be based on what the Government decides to be the areas in which we want to attract investment. It may be important, for the sake of planning, that ambassadors provide plans of the proposed value of investments they expect to attract into Guyana.Hand in hand with this, of course, are mechanisms to ensure that these are monitored to ensure our people are working. It should not be a holiday over at the missions.It is therefore of critical importance, for the sake of this country, that at embassies that are seen to be priority for us – say the US, Canada, India, Europe – that our best economists and foreign service officers are posted there.Foreign missions must be evaluated annually on what they have delivered for Guyana, based on their projections. Was the output of the work of these missions responsive to Guyana’s development objectives?Questions like these must be asked and the foreign missions must be evaluated along these lines.  These missions should no longer be cushy jobs for party stalwarts or for favoured officers who seem to go there earning extravagant salaries but with little results seen.While they are working on attracting business, the Government here, through its various ministries, must make the job of doing business in Guyana easier – in other words less of the red tape that we see and many times, experience. We must have predictable and simplified methods for starting a business. We should have clear processes and methods for settling contracts and so on.I conclude by saying that we must have a proper loop structure. We have to decide what areas we want to focus on; and we send our best overseas to focus on those areas. At the same time, we are working locally to make our business environment friendly, easier…and of course,Cheap Jerseys Wholesale, with less crime. It is all about staying the course and remaining focused.
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