Geoffrey Da Silva

Geoffrey Da Silva is a politician and administrator in Guyana. He was the Guyanese Minister of Trade, Tourism and Industry from 1999 to 2001, and now serves as head of Guyana Investment (Go-Invest).

Activities in Canada

Da Silva has a degree from York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ["Metro area voters to decide 33 ridings", "Toronto Star", 18 November 1988, A9.] He was an employee of the Communist Party of Canada in the 1980s, and ran as a candidate of the Communist Party at the federal and provincial levels. He also sought election for municipal office in Toronto. ["The choices in Metro", "Toronto Star", 7 September 1987, A8. Da Silva was thirty-four years old in 1987.] The Communist Party is not a strong political force in Canada, and Da Silva never came close to winning election.

Da Silva participated in the Guyanese liberation movement, seeking the return of democracy in that country. [ [http://www.kaieteurnewsgy.com/Archive/april%2006/26/index.htm "Thousands give murdered Minister and siblings a mournful ‘send-off'"] , "Kaieteur News", 25 April 2006.] He was Guyana's Consul General to Toronto in the 1990s, and was interviewed by the "Toronto Star" newspaper following the death of Guyanese president Cheddi Jagan in 1997. [Philip Mascoll, "Thousands of Guyanese mourn chief", "Toronto Star", 8 March 1997, A17.]

Cabinet Minister

Da Silva was appointed to the cabinet of President Bharrat Jagdeo on November 19, 1999, replacing the ailing Michael Shree Chan as Minister of Trade, Tourism and Industry. ["President appoints new finance, trade ministers", BBC Monitoring Americas, 19 November 1999; "Guyana's president names new finance, trade ministers", "Associated Press Newswires, 19 November 1999, 17:00 report. The latter article indicates that Da Silva received a degree from York University.] He participated in negotiations with Jamaica on the sale of rice in 2000. ["Jamaica, Guyana fail to reach final agreement on rice", BBC Monitoring Americas, 22 July 2000] Participating in the Fourth Annual Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in the same year, he argued that the Caribbean tourism industry would have to change to reflect growing changes in ecotourism. He was quoted as saying, ""The role of the agent has to change. [Retailers] must become travel experts. New tourism trends will require new agents." [Jeffrey Laign, "Natural bounty", 21 August 2000, p. 13.] He also promoted sustainable tourism in the ecologically fragile area of Kaieteur, and took part in negotiations toward completing a roadway with Brazil. [Robert Elliott, "Guyana's Kaieteur Falls a secret ... for now", "Reuters News", 4 September 2000, 21:02 report; "Guyana and Brazil to hold talks on rainforest highway", "EFE News Service", 11 December 2000.] In February 2000, he led an official delegation that met with Prince Charles of the United Kingdom in his official visit to Guyana. ["Prince Charles visits poor areas in Guyana", "Agence France-Presse", 25 February 2000.]

After 2001

Da Silva was dropped from cabinet following the 2001 elections, and became head of the Guyana Investment. ["Guyana's President Jagdeo unveils new cabinet", "EFE News Service", 10 April 2001.] An essay released the following year by the Guyana and Caribbean Political and Cultural Center for Popular Education argued that he significantly improved the agency's ability to attract investors. [ [http://www.guyanacaribbeanpolitics.com/guyanafeatures/ppp10_years.html "PPP - Ten years in government"] , Guyana and Caribbean Political and Cultural Center for Popular Education, 2002, accessed 18 July 2006.] He 2005, Da Silva argued that Guyana was creating jobs by diversifying its economy away from traditional crops such as bauxite and sugar. ["Guyanese government pledges to create more than 5,000 new jobs", BBC Monitoring Americas, 20 November 2005.] He helped to organize the Guyana Trade and Investment Exposition in the same year, seeking increased Canadian investment in Guyana. ["Guyana to hold trade show in Canada", BBC Monitoring Americas, 17 June 2005.] Notwithstanding his leftist political background, Da Silva has called for increased private-sector involvement in Guyana's food packaging industry. [ [http://www.guyanachronicle.com/ARCHIVES/archive%2021-07-05.html Timica Forrester, "CariAir/Roopgroup Packaging Plant fails to meet required standards"] , "Guyana Chronicle Online", 21 July 2005, accessing 18 July 2006.]

Footnotes


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