$900M revolving fund will help meet increasing demand for forestry products – GMSA

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

See full statement from the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA):

The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) commends the recent signing of the $900M revolving fund by the Ministry of Finance and Demerara Bank Limited. The establishment of this fund is opportune and will undoubtedly close the gap in financing, which is necessary to boost the Forestry Sector, improve production capacity and meet the increased demand for forestry products domestically, regionally and internationally.

The GMSA’s Forestry Subsector has been working diligently over the past years for an alternative access to affordable finance. Collectively, the Ministry of Natural Resources through the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) has been working with the GMSA to help identify causes for low production of logs and wood processing. Subsequent to several weeks of consultation with all stakeholders, it was identified that the existing and direct hindrance is lack of adequate financial resources. Many operators only have sufficient funds to produce limited stock of raw materials and finished products which can have a negative impact on the availability of finished goods for market consumption. The stakeholders consulted include loggers, sawmillers and manufacturers who are all part of the growing value chain. This economic incentive is an excellent opportunity for business growth and development, especially for companies that are pursuing more downstream processing of value-added products.

Recently we have witnessed major interest in finished goods, especially in the construction and housing sectors in the Caribbean, coupled with the rapid increase of housing construction in Guyana. The GMSA will continue to advocate for expansion of this financial model into other key sectors such as Agro-Processing.

The Association also commends Demerara Bank Limited for its role in funding the development and promotion of the Forestry Sector with its injection of $600M. The success of this financing program can be a catalyst for other financial institutions to follow, to provide assistance to local entrepreneurs and small-medium sized businesses.

The GMSA is extremely pleased with the Government’s swift response to the urgent need within the Forestry Sector and anticipates its ongoing collaboration with private sector. Further, the Association encourages all members of the Forestry Sector to consider this financing opportunity for business-growth.