By Kurt Campbell
President Irfaan Ali on Wednesday assured that steps are being taken at the level of government to modernise the country’s financial architecture even as he urged the local private sector to step up its game.
Dr. Ali was at the time speaking during the Third Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Guyana where he underscored Guyana’s challenge in accessing capital to fund the country’s transformational agenda.
“There is a lot of capital out there, especially in the U.S financial system and I have asked the AG [Attorney General] to work on barriers and hindrances, to modernise our financial architecture so that we have an easy platform to access that capital,” Dr. Ali said.
The President said the local private sector has a responsibility to step up and become more accountable and open to scrutiny. Dr. Ali said it is the private sector that has to ensure that the capital is accessed and go towards the areas that most demand it.
“… otherwise you are not going to be able to raise the capital need, you have to work by the book.
“When you have strategic partners coming in they want to see your financial credential. The days of exercise book accounting, if you want to work in the mainstream, are over… some people dome want to hear this but frankly speaking, those days are over,” the Head-of-State said.
He told those present that the local private sector must also be more aggressive in going after these opportunities.
“I’ve seen already some change in the approach to doing business and this is a positive influence that we have to nurture and build and embrace,” he added while assuring that the government will do everything it can to remove the barriers to trade and doing business in Guyana.
“I look forward to AMCHAM championing the cause of Guyanese business.”
Dr. Ali said human and financial capital has been a constraint when matched against the scale of investment required to transform the economy.
“We have to acknowledged that these are challenges, but we must not only acknowledge but provide a platform and pathway through which we address the challenge.
“I am very proud of local companies already accessing private sector resources from international agencies such as the IDB,” he added.
According to Dr. Ali there simply needs to be a greater push to break through the barriers and get the resources needed.
“More aggression, that’s what is needed, frankly speaking,” Dr Ali noted.