Finance Minister Winston Jordan believes the local manufacturing sector is not doing enough and has to take stock of itself and that its contribution to national earnings today is a mere five percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—a far cry from four decades ago when it stood at 15 per cent.
The Minister of Finance on Thursday (March 2, 2017) met with members of the media for a press engagement in the Ministry of Finance Boardroom, where he criticized the sector for not taking advantage of the current incentive regime and flat out bad business practices such as opting for Banks—which could be expensive—as against utilizing the Guyana Stock Exchange.
The manufacturing sector, according to Minister Jordan, would first claim “the environment is not right, the incentive framework is not right…When you check our incentive framework I believe it is far more healthy than it was in 1970s”
He contends that some of the issues affecting the local sector surround expensive bank loans and said “too many businesses don’t make use of Stock Exchange, they tend to go to banks for financing and that could be expensive.”
He pointed to complaints from the local manufacturing sector that relate to infrastructural problems such as poor facilities, expensive electricity which leads to self generation along with an un-skilled labour labour force—many of whom are unemployed—and said many of the problems can be overcome.
Minister Jordan was adamant however as it relates to the incentive regime. He said “the incentive framework is there…that is not much of a major issue.”
He said manufacturers “have to see things in a more…