Two consultancy firms have been contracted to review and to redesign the trade and investment framework for the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) along with designing an export and investment strategy.
The Consultancies – IOS Partners Inc. and Global Partners Consulting LLC. – are being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) under a US$9M project: The enhancing of national quality infrastructure improvement for economic diversification and trade promotion.
The wider project is aimed at improving the functions of several government agencies.
IDB Country representative Sophie Makonnen explained that the procurement for the firms started in February 2018 but due to some delays, the contracts were awarded in mid-2019.
The main aim she said is improving the services offered to the Private sector.
“Many economies around the world have shown that a strong and diversified private sector is one of the main pillars for growth and development. The programme…intends to strengthen the institutional framework governing production and quality standards to support the private sector enterprises involved in international trade and spearheading compliance with quality and environment regulation,” she noted.
With the emergence of the oil and gas sector, Business Minister Haimraj Rajkumar said the Government wants to be able to channel investments to other priority sectors but it must ensure the agencies responsible for facilitating investments are capable of dealing with the influx.
“This project couldn’t come at a better time for Guyana when the oil sector which is highly specialized, highly standardized and with global value chains about to take off, priority sectors can piggyback on the strength of the oil sector in order to develop,” he noted.
The Business Minister said that the strengthening of public institutions will remove red tapes and improve trade facilitation.
The project was welcomed by Chief Executive Officer of GO-Invest, Owen Verwey as the entity facilitates billions of dollars in investments annually.
He said, “these consultancies will assist GO-Invest significantly in terms of realigning our priorities, bringing better focus to the activities that we get involved in, especially those in the sub-sectors that will be identified for priority and in turn, growth and development for Guyana.”
In March of this year, Verwey said the agency facilitated $89.4B in investments in 2018. Of the $89.4B in investments, 56 agreements were signed, accounting for $52.2B.
Of the 56 executed investments, the CEO reported that 38 were local, 15 were Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and three were joint ventures.