‘There is a space for everyone’ – EU Ambassador touts more ‘Europe in Guyana’


Recognising that Guyana’s potential goes beyond its newly discovered oil and gas reserves, European Union (EU) Ambassador to Guyana, Fernando Ponz Cantó, on Tuesday talked up the possibilities for more investment from the EU here.

“There are plenty of opportunities beyond oil, and Guyana welcomes Europe… We are also in a better position now to have more Europe in Guyana and more Guyana in Europe,” the Ambassador said while addressing the virtual Invest in Guyana Forum.

Ambassador Cantó said with Guyana currently gaining acknowledgement for being one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, it provides plenty of opportunities for business, investment and trade.

“It goes beyond oil, it covers tourism, the extractive industries, agro and infrastructure,” the Diplomat said.

The Ambassador told the forum, which was attended by President Irfaan Ali, and almost 500 delegates from around the world, that Europe intends to ensure that its interest in Guyana amounted to a “win, win situation” for both sides.

“There is space for everybody, everybody can find some opportunity for himself here,” he added.

EU Ambassador to Guyana, Fernando Ponz Cantó

The Ambassador also offered his support for the local private sector, saying that although small, it has proven its vibrancy over the last year. He said the role the private sector plays is fundamental for development. “It is small but the embryo of something much much bigger,” he added.

The virtual conference was organised by the European Delegation to Guyana in collaboration along with the Caribbean Export Development Agency, the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) and the Guyana Investment Agency (GO-Invest).

The conference attracted close to 500 delegates from 47 countries around the world. Using that platform, President Ali welcomed European investment in Guyana.

The Head-of-State said the timing of the forum was favourable since it comes at a time when both the EU and Guyana are undergoing change.

“Guyana is pursuing a transformative agenda which requires investment and the EU is charting a post-pandemic reopening and recovery… there are new trade and economic opportunities,” the Guyanese President said.

Dr Ali also pointed out that the conference is happening against the prospects of a renewed long term partnership between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific States.

President Irfaan Ali (left) with Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh during his virtual presentation at the forum (Photo: Office of the President/March 23, 2021)

To this end, Dr Ali said Guyana welcomes the positive repositioning of relations.

“We want to reset our relations with Europe and investment is part of that process,” the President added.

Joining the Head-of-State at the virtual event was Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh.

Monday’s conference will include discussions and presentations from several prominent Guyanese, including the CEO of GO-INVEST, Peter Ramsaroop; Governor of the Central Bank of Guyana, Dr Gobin Ganga; past President of the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA), Shyam Nokta, among other heads of government agencies and representatives from the private sector.

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