Guyana and Suriname are continental neighbours and efforts are being made to integrate the two economies into a single market space, increasing the business opportunities available to players in both countries.
This is according to Suriname’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Albert Ramdin, who was addressing the opening of the first Guyanese branch of Optiek Ninon, a Surinamese optical services company, on Thursday.
Suriname’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Albert Ramdin
Ramdin is in Guyana as part of a visiting high-level delegation that includes Suriname’s Head-of-State Chandrikpersad Santokhi.
The Foreign Minister said that the businesses in both countries have to think about expanding and growing beyond their borders and their own domestic (in-country) markets. And, he posited that the closeness of the two countries presents unique opportunities for expansion.
“This is exactly what both Presidents are discussing currently,” Ramdin said.
According to him, President Dr. Irfaan Ali and President Santokhi have spent the past few days intensifying discussions on how the Governments of Guyana and Suriname can enhance cooperation and facilitate greater business opportunities.
Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh
To this end, the visiting Foreign Minister disclosed, “We strongly believe that these two markets must be seen as one market.”
And, he later added, “… we will come to that point in the near future.”
Optiek Ninon has six branches in Suriname and has set up its seventh branch in Guyana, on Camp Street, Georgetown.
Foreign Minister Ramdin said that he has been a patron of the business in Suriname and alluded to his further engagements in Guyana, by stating that he would visit the Guyanese branch in the future.
“We’ll be often here,” the Foreign Minister said lightheartedly.
Meanwhile, Guyana’s Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh also underscored the deepening economic relationship with Suriname.
“Our Presidents have spent the last two days speaking about how we can achieve an even more effective integration or realisation of the singularity of the economic space that we live and work in,” Dr. Singh said while addressing the opening as well.
His statements added to those he made only minutes before, during a working breakfast by Guyana’s Private Sector Commission (PSC) on Thursday morning at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown.
As he stated earlier, the Finance Minister said that Guyanese and Surinamese companies should look towards expanding their operations into each other’s countries.
And, importantly, the Finance Minister said that the local authorities were working on reducing and even eliminating the challenges and ‘red tape’ that businesses encounter.
As such, Dr. Singh said that doing business in Guyana would become much easier.