MIRAMAR – The City of Miramar and Guyana discuss trade links during the recently held Florida Conference on Current Caribbean Issues.
The South American CARICOM member state Guyana have had initial discussions on developing trade ties and it is expected that the city’s Mayor, Wayne Messam will visit Guyana next year (2016) to follow up on the initial talks which took place recently during the Guyana’s Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge visit to south Florida.
Speaking at the opening of the recent Florida Conference on Current Caribbean Issues: The Diaspora Discussion, held at the Miramar Civic Center Complex, Mayor Messam spoke of the city’s intent to strengthen business ties with the Caribbean region, citing the municipality’s free trade zone as a facility which could serve as a catalyst for promoting mutually beneficial trade links.
The Mayor later had a 30 minute discussion with the Guyana Vice President during which he briefed the Guyanese official on the functions and operations of the free zone and identified some of the business activities that could be of benefit from the use of the zone.
“The two exchanged ideas about how not just Guyanese but Caribbean manufacturers could use the Miramar free zone to reduce production costs and make their products more competitive on the international market,” said former Guyanese diplomat Wesley Kirton who participated in the meeting.
Miramar and Guyana Discuss Trade Links
“As an example, the two discussed the possibility of Guyanese manufacturers of products such as condiments, jams and jellies, pepper sauces and fruit drinks shipping their product in stainless steel containers to the Miramar free zone where these can then be bottled thereby reducing the cost to Guyanese manufacturers of having to import the glass or approved plastic containers. In some cases the cost of purchasing the containers in the US and having to ship these to Guyana makes the price to the final consumer quite uncompetitive,” Kirton said.
Greenidge has suggested that the Mayor and his team visit Guyana to meet with the private sector, including the Guyana Manufacturers Association and the Private Sector Commission to inform Guyanese business people about the free zone. The Mayor was advised that he could also meet with trade officials of the Georgetown headquartered Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat.
Almost 33 per cent of the estimated 125,000 population of the City of Miramar are Caribbean American and this is reflected in the composition of the city’s leadership with the Mayor and all the city commissioners being of Caribbean descent.
Mayor Messam says the city’s Caribbean American population, its free zone and its close proximity to major ports and airports make it attractive for trade and other business links with the Caribbean. Miramar’s free zone, he says, could serve as a convenient point for the distribution of Caribbean products to other parts of the US and for export to international markets.