GO-Invest targets over $107B investments for 2018

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The Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) has revised downwards its projection from $154B in investments for 2018 to $107.5B, owing to a number of challenges being faced.

This has since resulted in the reduction of the number of jobs to be created from both foreign and local investments from 5,725 to 434.

At a press conference on Thursday, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GO-Invest, Owen Verwey, noted that from January to June 2018, the agency facilitated $12.5B in investments across various sectors, including services, agriculture, and energy.

Verwey said he is pleased with the successes of the agency noting that “as an economy, interests are very strong and people are continuing to look into this direction for investment opportunities.”

In presenting the agency’s achievements for the first half of 2018, Verwey explained that the initial projection of $154B was made in mid-2017 based on negotiations which it had expected to complete in the first half of this year.

Three of those large-scale projects are in the Agriculture sector for the cultivation of soya beans and two Brazillian companies but the three projects are still going through due diligence processes with the relevant agencies for the acquisition of lands.

The CEO explained that the key challenge is the acquisition of lands.

“Activities that we are seeing the foreign guys looking for -one of the big area is land, many of them need land for their operations and in some cases, the land is not permanent, they need it for two to three years only and after that, something different,” Verwey said in response to questions asked.

Additionally, GO-Invest had anticipated that in the forestry sector, the concessions from Barama company limited would have been given to other investors but applications are still in the pipeline.

In the area of Oil and Gas, it was anticipated that there will be more shore base activities and local business participation in the industry “but current indicators suggest that there will be a slow build up in momentum with significant acceleration in 2019 when we expect an uptake in local investments as businesses familiarise themselves with the requirements of the O&G Industry and move to improve financial reporting standards and capacity,” the CEO explained.

GO-Invest had also expected the privatisation of the assets of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to be far along but this has not significantly progressed.

For the first half of 2018, there were twenty investments which were facilitated by the agency with 12 being local, five foreign and three joint ventures.

The five agreements concerning foreign direct investments of $5.02B for the period were predominantly within the Agriculture Sector.

There were also manufacturing projects which included Manufacturing of pre-cast concrete construction materials and coco peat from coconut shells.

Verwey disclosed that the agency matched 47 businesses with overseas clients for the supply of Gold, Diamond, Coffee, Coconut Oil, Heart of Palm, Peppers, Fruit Pulp and Clay Bricks.

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