Gov’t targets US investors to build ‘truly modern Guyana in shortest possible time’

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The Government is actively pursuing investments from the United States in its plan to “build in the shortest possible time, a truly modern Guyana with world class infrastructure,” Dr Ashni Singh, Senior Minister with responsibility for finance said Friday.

Dr Singh’s comments came during his address to the Annual General Meeting of the Guyana Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM).

“…in the very near future I will be engaging with AMCHAM to discuss your members’ contribution to the economic contribution that is underway, as well as ways in which we can work together to ensure our paired vision for Guyana is realised,” Dr. Singh stated.

While the administration is looking to attract new investors and doing this with local content provisions in place, the President of AMCHAM (Guyana), Zulfikar Ally, posited that foreign businesses are often frustrated when they cannot find a local company in compliance with international best practices to partner with.

The Annual General Meeting was hosted virtually in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

“…it is also a great deal of frustration for investors who are bound by policies and international best practices ….to ensure they only hire firms that are in compliance with these requirements,” Ally told those in attendance at the local summit.

He added that this is a common constraint in the budding oil and gas sector but something the organisation is working on with local partners.

AMCHAM has over 90 members and US Ambassador to Guyana Sarah Ann Lynch in her address said: “the future of US investment here in Guyana is just beginning.”

A team led by the US Development Bank visited Guyana last month where they touted a staggering US$200B financing for local projects. Already, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation has met with 60 businesses through AMCHAM.

“We look forward to US companies competing fairly and transparently in tender processes as we want to remain Guyana’s top trading partner and partner of choice,” the Ambassador said.

In a pre-recorded video statement, President Irfaan Ali noted that the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce and other agencies will work to improve the local business industry.

He noted that several plans are in the pipeline to unlock new markets, reduce barriers to competition and enhance trade.

The President also touted plans to slash the cost of electricity by 50% and a national entrepreneurship and innovation council to encourage the emergence of new entrepreneurs.

 

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