‘Tremendous’ interest in the oil and gas sector – Go-Invest CEO

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The Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest) has announced that it has processed 120 investment agreements which are likely to create 2000 jobs. Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Owen Verwey said most of the agreements are in the area of service delivery in the oil and gas sector.

“Businesses are coming in here to do services. To some extent with the oil and gas industry, or to a larger extent with the oil and gas industry,” told reporters at a news conference on Monday, December 18, 2017.

Verwey explained that Go-Invest renders a variety of assistance to firms interested in investing in the oil and gas sector, however not relative to the extractive aspect.

“They would come into us to try to understand the market here, look for recommendations for lawyers who can incorporate their companies, accountants who they can work with, staff and recruitment agencies that they may want to work with…helping them understand how do you start a business in Guyana and what is required…,” he explained.

The CEO said Go-Invest faced challenges in attracting investments in areas of agriculture, forestry and tourism but with a number of activities lined up for next year, the Agency hopes to generate greater interest.

One of those activities is to send a Trade and Investment Mission to Jamaica to scout out opportunities for trade.

“Jamaica buys most of its lumber and forestry products from Brazil and Honduras and we’re in the Caribbean here. The word we’ve gotten from them is that no one from Guyana really comes to market their products other than one entity that has done a lot with Sandals,” Verwey explained.

The exercise, therefore, will see the Jamaican equivalent of Go-Invest rally their buyers to meet with the Guyanese mission.

Further, the CEO maintained that foreign entities are not given more preferences over local firms but conceded that perhaps Go-Invest can make local businesses more aware of opportunities.

In fact, he said Go-Invest is in the process of restructuring with assistance in the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Meanwhile, at the level of the Board, the Chairperson Patricia Bacchus assured that there is no political interference in the work of Go-Invest.

She noted too that Go-Invest has enhanced relations with relevant agencies such as the Guyana Revenue Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission to truly make the Agency live up to its name of being a one-stop shop.

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