The 8th Berbice Exposition and Trade Fair was officially launched on Wednesday, April 25th under the theme “Showcasing Opportunities -Fulfilling our Potential’”
This annual event , organised by the Central Corentyne Chamber of Commerce (CCCC) will once again see exhibitors showcasing what the Ancient County has to offer , beginning July 20 – 23 at the Albion Sports Complex, in Region six (East Berbice /Corentyne).
Members of the CCCC along with sponsors joined the Permanent Secretary of the Tourism Ministry, Mr. Willett Hamilton and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Small Business Bureau, Mr. Derrick Cummings to usher in the much anticipated event.
Mr. Cummings , who represented Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister, Irfaan Ali , who was detained at Parliament, reiterated the Government’s commitment to supporting the annual trade show.
This he said will be achieved by the continued development and expansion of infrastructure this year , including the industrial site, the #63 Beach and the promotion of community based tourism and agro tourism.
He said, “We want to assure you that the Ministry of Tourism is fully behind the Expo as we have been in the past as with former Ministers Manniram Prashad and Manzoor Nadir.”
“Works will be done to make the industrial site habitable this year and emphasis will be placed on agro tourism which are all part of the Tourism Ministry’s work plan for the region,” Cummings added.
In this regard, the CEO for the Small Business Bureau pointed to the importance of the residents taking advantage of the opportunities that will arise from the emerging oil and gas sectors and adapting to the changes that will arise.
He also lauded the business community for their resilience and entrepreneurship displayed over the years, even in difficult circumstances.
Cummings assured of Minister Ali’s drive to providing the impetus for the continued development of public/private partnership particularly in the region.
He explained, “The Ministry of Tourism stands ready to lend our support in several ways. We will be looking at hosting investments seminars to promote networking and we are prepared to use the Government mechanism to assist.”
Alluding to how this will be achieved, he noted that linkages could be made with Suriname, Brazil and Caribbean countries to generate interest and facilitate investments, which will add to the expansion of the trade show in Berbice .
In closing, Cummings expressed the confidence that the CCCC will use the 8th Berbice Expo to showcase to the entire country the benefits of public/private partnership.
In his address, the President of the CCCC, Mr. Lekha Rambrich said it was indeed an honour to be a part of the 8th expo, which has its genesis in 2005, and which will serve to propel the region and benefit the entire country.
He pointed to the vast opportunity that exists in Region six, particularly for the expansion of tourism and to the importance of the trade fair in showcasing this.
Mr. Rambrich also urged the business community to capitalize on the vast opportunities that will arise in Region from the oil and gas exploration, the proposed bridging of the Corentyne River and the Deep Water Harbour.
He said, “This will provide great opportunities and I hope that businesses can make use of this.”
Notwithstanding these opportunities, the CCCC President pointed to the importance of the Region taking advantage of the existing avenues for development.
These include the opening up of more than 3000 acres of land in East Canje Berbice , which he said could be utilized for tourism related activities, such as camping , fishing, bird watching and hunting.
As to the hosting of this year’s trade fair, Rambrich announced that all patrons and participants will be treated to a “remarkable” Berbice Expo 2012, at an affordable price.
“We can guarantee that we can make it one of the best and I am urging all of the business to position themselves to capture all the opportunities that will arise,” he assured.
Meanwhile the Regional Chairman, Mr. David Armagon acknowledged that the annual event continues to create linkages between local community and regional and international businesses.
He lauded the CCCC for their sustainability of the event which benefits the entire region.
The CCCC Vice President, Tajpaul Adjodhea noted that the Tourism Ministry continues to play an integral part in the successful staging of the Berbice Expo and Trade Fair.
The organizers are promising patrons a spectacular show with local and international entertainers every night of the event, to be held at the Albion Sports Complex.
Representatives of the major sponsors also attended the launching ceremony, including the GT&T, Beharry Group of Companies, Banks DIH, DDL, Republic Bank and new sponsors Neal and Massey.