By Kurt Campbell
President Irfaan Ali on Friday said the Timehri, East Bank Demerara area, home to Guyana’s Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), will soon see major infrastructural and economic transformation.
Dr. Ali was at the time speaking at the sod-turning for the $4B Courtyard by Marriott Hotel expected to be opened in early 2023. He told the gathering that there are currently more than 40 international investors who have already approached the government for different investments in and around the airport. This, the President explained, has caused the government to be engaged in “investment taming.”
In providing clues for the transformation that could take place in the coming years, Dr. Ali said the Airport Authority is short of land to facilitate the investments.
“This area will become a major hospitality, sport, and recreational area,” he said. The President said the transformation will be accompanied by the construction of a superhighway from Timehri to Georgetown. Work has already started on the Diamond, East Bank Demerara to Georgetown leg of the highway.
Dr. Ali said the government is prepared to invest billions in the catchment area.
“As a matter of fact, we are already talking to urban and local planners, looking at the development of Silica City,” the President added.
In addition to that, Dr. Ali said the government was actively looking for investors to establish a first-class marina and yachting club off the Demerara River. That will also be accompanied by a world-class resort along the Linden Soesdyke Highway.
“Only yesterday… we were reviewing what investments are needed to transform the country… and I want to say now that any Guyanese with a plan, come knock on the door, Guyana is open for everyone,” he added.
The President promised “equality to opportunities.”
“It is not a gaff, it is not propaganda, it is real work… the government is about creating opportunities for the private sector and translating it to the wider benefit of the population,” Dr. Ali said.
The Head of State said the development to take place in the area will also see an investment in the development of the thousands of locals who will make up the workforce.
“There must be no miss matching in the process.”