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No place for favoritism to investors –Business Minister By Kiana WilburgBusiness Minister Dominic Gaskin has a number of new plans; one is the restructuring of the system for theBusiness Minister, Dominic Gaskingranting of concessions to local and foreign investors.Gaskin said that he intends to work towards depoliticizing the method used to dictate how concessions are to be granted.The Business Minister said, “We need to end this culture where people think that knowing a Minister is going to automatically grant you a ticket to a menu or a buffet of concessions.”He said that investors will be informed that they will only get what they are legally entitled to.The politician emphasized that “there is no place for favouritism in this sector, especially when it comes to granting concessions.”He added,Jerseys From China, “You will get concessions based on how sound your plan is and the type of investment it is. We need to clean up those processes and look at what was granted to local entities and foreign companies here to ensure it is within the law.“It’s a key step towards leveling the playing field.”On Wednesday, Gaskin said that he has started some work with the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest),Cheap Jerseys, especially with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Keith Burrowes.GO-Invest is a government agency which provides advice and concessions,Cheap Jerseys China, when necessary,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, to investors looking for the best way to start a business in Guyana.It also enables entrepreneurs from around the globe to tap into the wealth of trade and investment opportunities available in the country.He said that some preliminary discussions were conducted with Burrowes and he will continue to follow up on a number of projects under the entity.This would help to make doing business in Guyana easier.Gaskin asserted that he will be lending special attention to the Small Business Bureau as well as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.“We want to see business grow in Guyana and we want to encourage innovation and bring in more foreign direct investment. We also want to level the playing field which is a major component of achieving the objectives I outlined,” said Gaskin.The Business Minister reminded that GO-Invest is going to be the major interface between Government agencies, foreign and local investors.Given what he has discovered thus far with the agency, Gaskin said that it is clear that the company needs to do its job without political interference.It needs to ensure that investment agreements are in accordance with the laws of the country.He said that the company has a very important role to play in terms of helping to monitor the export and import commotion of companies based on the concessions they were granted.Gaskin said that he does not see government sidelining the agency given its importance. He said however,Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale, that the government will of course; examine the performance of the company but not necessarily with a view to conducting investigations.The Business Minister said that he is interested in “lifting up Go-Invest.” He admitted that better could be done with the agency as opposed to what took place in the past.He emphasized that the company needs “new life” with its functions strengthened.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, said on Thursday that Cabinet has granted the permission for the appointment of a new board for the entity.Harmon made this statement at government’s first post-Cabinet briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency.Harmon told members of the media that the life of the GO-Invest board came to an end in 2014 and the company is now operating without one. He said that given this situation, Gaskin made an application for an interim board to be appointed for the purpose of guiding and directing policies for the agency over the next six months until a permanent board is appointed.Harmon said that Cabinet subsequently gave its approval for the interim board to be appointed. He said that it will comprise persons from the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Private Sector Commission, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Business, and individuals in the Diaspora.Gaskin also secured Cabinet approval to appoint persons to the board as he sees fit, and based on the realities of Guyana.GO-Invest’s Chief Executive Officer, Keith Burrowes, had called the media indicating that he is going to step down from the agency, saying that he has had it with the unwarranted criticisms from some quarters.Burrowes then made an about turn, choosing instead to put his decision to leave the agency on pause.But considering the new board to be appointed, his future at the company is now shrouded in uncertainty.On Sunday last, he had said that his decision to hit the road was made primarily on comments circulating in the media that he is perceived as a “political appointee of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).”He also took offence to some of the statements made recently by some members of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) during a meeting with President David Granger.“I keep hearing them (PSC members) say how they want to see GO-Invest revamped, but I have some questions for them. Why they never prepared a list of suggestions to give to the government as to how the agency can be developed instead of merely casting stones? These statements uttered by the so-called PSC come from a few recycled persons or all their members?” said Burrowes.Burrowes also held a position as a Board Member of the cash-strapped Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo). But due to years of poor management, he,Cheap Jerseys China, among others, was forced to tender his resignation.While he sat at the helm of the investment company, he was also accused of failing to keep proper documents on the number of concessions the entity was able to facilitate. There have also been several cases where major investments were steered away from the agency due to political interference.
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