Guyana’s promising business openings with its newfound oil wealth have resulted in an influx of foreign investors scoping opportunities and going on to make big investments here.
Those breaks have mostly been seized by investors from the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, China and other big countries across Europe with new interest from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
But Austria, a small country in Europe, has its eyes set on prospects in Guyana.
Austrian Trade Commissioner to Guyana Dr. Andreas Schmid has disclosed his intention to organise a trade mission of Austrian companies to come to Guyana in 2023.
“Gyana is a high potential business partner for Austrian companies,” he said at the weekend during the sod turning for the €149 million Specialised Paediatric and Maternal Hospital to be designed, built and equipped by an Austrian firm, VAMED Engineering, for which the Austrian Government has minority shares.
Austria is not so keen on the opportunities in oil and gas, with Dr. Schmid pointing to the energy sector, infrastructure, housing and green technology.
“Guyana is truly on a growth path with sustainable development.
“Austrian avails itself as a competent partner in supporting the growing economy. We are a small country in Europe but we have a reliable market and technology partners in many fields,” the Trade Commissioner said.
He promised to present leading Austrian businesses to Guyana’s Government and the private sector in Guyana and regarded the construction of the hospital, flowing from an agreement signed between Guyana and Austria in 2018, as an excellent government-to-government project.
President Irfaan Ali met the Austrian Head of State, President Alexander Van der Bellen in September 2021 in New York.
At the meeting, which took place at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York City, both presidents agreed to further bilateral cooperation between their respective nations.
Bilateral trade exchanges between the two states have been small in the past and further setback by the COVID-19 pandemic but the Trade Commissioner believes that projects such as the hospital and the first-time import of Guyanese oil to Austria in 2021 were a positive outlook for improved bilateral trade.
Guyana’s bilateral trade has also increased in recent years with other countries such as the USA, Canada, China and India.
And there have been other trade missions, one from Canada earlier this year with the setting up of several joint business chambers with the support of governments to increase business activities.