Guyana: Doing business & staying in touch

Doing business in Guyana

Appointments should be made and punctuality is appreciated. Business cards are useful. The pace of business and general attitudes are very Caribbean-orientated. It is, however, wise to bear in mind that the country is very much part of South America, the ties with the Caribbean being more a hangover from British colonial days than a reflection of Guyanese popular consciousness.

Office hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1200 and 1300-1630.

Economy

Agriculture allows Guyana to be self-sufficient in sugar, rice, vegetables, fruit, meat and poultry, as well as to make major export earnings from the first two. Although 80% of the land area is covered by forest, timber has only very recently assumed any economic significance (subject to internationally backed restrictions on logging).

Bauxite mining is the main industry, and responsible for one-third of export earnings. The mining sector also produces gold and diamonds, almost all of which are exported. Gold production has increased sharply since the opening of a new mining complex in 1992. Imported oil meets most of the country's energy requirements, although Guyana and Surinam have begun joint exploration projects.

Since 1997, many formerly state-owned assets and industries have been sold, and deregulation measures introduced, as part of that programme. A major obstacle to Guyana's future economic progress is a shortage of trained personnel, especially in the fields of management and technical expertise; the emigration rate remains high, and only serves to compound this long-term problem.

Guyana suffered widespread flooding in January and February 2005. The economy contracted by 3% that year, while inflation stood at 6.9%.

Guyana is a founder member of the regional trading bloc CARICOM.

GDP

US$782 million (2005).

Main exports

Sugar, gold, bauxite/aluminium, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum and timber.

Main imports

Manufactured goods, machinery, petroleum and food.

Main trading partners

Keeping in Touch in Guyana

Mobile phone

Network providers include Cel Star Guyana Inc and Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) (website: www.gtt.co.gy). Mobile phones can be hired from GT&T.

Internet

Internet cafes are available in Georgetown.

Post

Post offices are found across the country.

Media


Press

• The daily state-owned newspaper is The Guyana Chronicle (website: www.guyanachronicle.com).
• The independent Stabroek News (website: www.stabroeknews.com) and the Kaieteur News are published weekdays.
• On weekends, there are also The Mirror, The Sunday Chronicle and The Sunday Stabroek.

Television

Guyana Television (GTV) is government owned.

Radio

• Local radio can be heard online (website: www.homeviewguyana.com).
• Guyana Broadcasting Corporation is government owned and runs three radio channels: Hot FM, Radio Roraima and Voice of Guyana.

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