‘Guyana, wider C’bean attractive place for investments’- Ali courts Middle East investors
Guyana and other Caribbean countries are young nations seeking to develop their economies and President Dr. Irfaan Ali believes that international investors, like those in the Middle East, can find attractive investment opportunities here.
The Guyanese Head-of-State shared this belief as he courted Middle Eastern investors during a keynote address delivered on Tuesday at the Caribbean Investment Forum (CIF2022) in Dubai.
This forum was hosted by the Caribbean Export Development Agency, in association with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA).
A release from the Office of the President stated that Dr. Ali highlighted the Caribbean’s economic potential and spoke extensively about opportunities in environmental services, the blue economy, agriculture, infrastructure, tourism and other areas of potential and predicted growth.
“Once you have the capital, the foresight, access to technology, then the Caribbean Region is a destination you should be looking at.
“It is a destination that offers you an opportunity to build a complex, multifaceted investment platform and it’s a Region that is looking at being self-sufficient in many areas,” the President reportedly told the gathering.
What makes the region particularly unique, the President posited, is the multicultural yet inclusive demography coupled with an advantageous geographic location that allows access to the South, Central and North Americas.
“In almost each of these areas, we have specific investment agreements and trade arrangements that will give you a distinct advantage in pursuing your business interests,” the President reportedly said, talking up the geographic advantage.
Importantly, too, Dr. Ali explained that the region is seeking to build out a new logistics and transportation model that would exploit the advantage offered through the Caribbean’s strategic geographic location. That build out, he said, allows for lucrative investments.
Already, he noted that his Government is in talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on developing a logistics hub, while the Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, will be in the UAE to work on a project called the ‘Sea Bridge.’
These projects, the President said, will move people, goods and services throughout the Region. He assured that every country in the Region is “committed to providing an incentive mechanism to support this logistics and transportation model.”
Beyond these forthcoming projects, he said that there are more opportunities.
“We are now talking about building a bridge between Guyana and Suriname. Suriname is looking to build a bridge between Suriname and French Guiana. We are looking at building an infrastructure that will support the development within the Region,” he said.
The President also zeroed in on Guyana’s potential.
Aside from the burgeoning oil sector and infrastructural expansion, the Head- of- State reminded that Guyana encompasses 18.3 million hectares of standing forests covering over 87% of the country’s land. This rates Guyana as the country with the second highest per capita forest cover in the world.
And with its intact forests, Guyana stores about 92.5 gigatonnes of carbon- helping to protect the world from the harmful effects of climate change. The carbon stored by Guyana, notably, represents US$195 billion in the carbon market- a mechanism that Guyana is now seeking to exploit.
Additionally, the President talked up Guyana’s potential in agriculture, especially as it relates to CARICOM’s reduction of its food import bill by 25% by 2025 through local agriculture expansion in member states.
Guyana, like other CARICOM nations, the President added, is moving forward through the use of renewable energy and through solid, long-term, investments.
Much like President Ali, the Executive Director of Caribbean Export Deodat Maharaj talked up the investment potential of the Caribbean.
Caribbean Export, alone, has a membership of 15 countries with a market size of 26.2 million people. Maharaj emphasised that the region’s “advantageous location” will give investors direct access to the United States which is mere hours away by air, Canada, Central America and South America.
“For us, investment promotion has been identified as a key strategic pillar of the Agency.
“We are committed to looking at new approaches in attracting investments… (and) we firmly believe that increased foreign direct investment will see rich dividends for you as investors and for our people in the Caribbean,” Maharaj said.
CIF2022 is a high-level event that offers a range of investment opportunities in AgTech, Hotel and Resort Development, Fintech, Logistics and Transportation.
On Wednesday, President Ali will be participating in the Global Business Forum LATAM, which will be attended by several regional leaders, including the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, H.E Jair Bolsonaro and President of the Republic of Colombia, H.E Ivan Marquez.
The Global Business Forum LATAM is being held under the Patronage of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.