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Executives and Members of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry adjourned yesterday for their Annual General Meeting at Duke Lodge in Kinston.Incorporated 120 years ago to provide a body that would represent the commercial interests of the business community in the country, the mission of the Chamber is to ensure a healthy environment for the growth and wellbeing of the sector in Guyana.During the opening session, the current president of the Chamber, Mr. Chandradat Chintamani, gave his overview of the state of the Chamber’s health.Against the background of Guyana’s economy not only weathering the recent global financial crisis but entering 2010 with an appreciated foreign exchange rate rather than the reverse, Chintamani announced that for last year the Chamber generated a surplus of income amounting to some $4.7M versus the surplus of 2008 which only amounted to $0.2M ($247,Austin Hooper Falcons Jersey UK,000).He noted that this was possible through a number of efforts such as increased fundraising activities in 2009,Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic, a new fee structure that saw annual subscriptions, which amount for a significant portion of the Chamber’s income, increase from $3.2M to $6.04M and significant reductions in the operating costs of the organization.One of the highest expenditures facing the Chamber is salaries and these decreased from $3.1M to $2.7M from 2008 to 2009. Another area that attracted a large amount of the Chamber’s funds was that of repairs which Chintamani stated were part of the ongoing effort to make the Chamber of Commerce Secretariat truly reflective of the corporate profiles enlisted therein – those figures went down from $1.4M to $0.6M.The Chamber entered this year with $4.6M surplus in its accumulated fund and capital reserves at $10.2M. Overall the 2009 surplus of cash enlarged the Chamber’s asset portfolio from $12.8M in 2008 to $17.3M at the end of 2009,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, an increase of 34.6 per cent.In the context of where the Chamber of Commerce is heading for the year ahead, Chintamani said that the surplus funds will be employed in a number of ventures. One of these was the launch of the Business Guyana 2010 Magazine in late April. The magazine would be aimed at attracting greater foreign and local investments for the country.Present,NFL Jerseys Outlet, too,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, was Minister of Labour,Cheap NFL jerseys China, Manzoor Nadir who said, “35 years ago if you wanted information on which to base business decisions you had to physically tumble through records, extract from those records data you needed, summarize and analyze it if you wanted to do it.Getting information was a tedious task and many times business decisions were based on expert opinions rather than sound empirical data.”The Minister noted that today the business environment is very different. Information of a statistical nature on all aspects of the country is readily available.He said that the quarterly Labour Market Information Bulletin and the annual Guyana Wages and Hours of Work Survey compiled by his Ministry for distribution to all interested.He added that getting labour information from the Private Sector was like pulling teeth but there is a real need for this information: lack of it prevents persons considering investing in Guyana from getting access to up to date market information.If there is more information available for the sector and there is greater transparency and ease of access then there will be a corresponding increase in investment according to the Minister.He took the opportunity to urge the Private Sector to ensure that workers’ rights are protected, that there is opportunity for social dialogue within organizations and that workers can be represented by the labour union of their choice as well as to look at how best we can treat our labor resources to increase productivity and production.His final appeals were that businesses embrace technology as a means of encouraging growth and productivity and that members of the business sector as well as the Government should also consider greater flexibility in working hours especially for what the Minister called ‘back room’ jobs – those that did not involve direct contact with customers.After the ceremony the Chamber members adjourned for the meeting itself where they would duly elect 21 members to serve on the Chamber Council for 2010.
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