Guyana seeks ‘stronger relationships’ with Chinese investors as trade nears US$1B

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Guyana’s government and private sector are engaging Chinese investors in hopes of securing many more large investments and much-needed partnerships to propel big projects planned locally.

This was evident at a virtual China- Guyana investment opportunities seminar held on Monday night. There, members of government and the private sector presented the business opportunities in Guyana to key members of China’s business sector.

GO-Invest Head Dr. Peter Ramsaroop was keen on pointing out that Guyana’s diversification plans meant that investors can choose their investment opportunities from a wide array of sectors.

Energy, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and infrastructural projects are those key areas identified by Dr. Ramsaroop.

He, however, noted that many Chinese investors have already capitalised on these opportunities- reminding the gathering that just this year, a Chinese company was awarded major contracts for the construction of the new Demerara River Crossing.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) Dr. Peter Ramsaroop

“We are excited to continue that relationship.

“There have been significant investments in Guyana from China, and we are looking forward to building stronger relationships in many of our projects coming up,” Dr. Ramsaroop said.

He wasn’t the only government representative that acknowledged Chinese contributions and made a pitch for continued investments.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond also said that the Chinese contribution to Guyana’s development has been “particularly visible”.

And according to her, Guyana’s potential is brimming with opportunities for future commercial interests. These opportunities span renewable energy, tourism and hospitality and information and communication technology (ICT).

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond (Photo: News Room/November 27, 2021)

This call for more Chinese interest comes as trade between the two countries catapulted to nearly US$1 billion in just the first six months of this year.

Vice Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)  Zhang Shaogang related that trade between Guyana and China stood at some US$950 million (or GY$200 billion) for the first half of 2022.

That represents a 223 per cent increase in trade between the two countries. Contextually, trade between the two countries stood at US$710 million for the entire 2021;

What is even more interesting is that of the nearly US$1 billion sum in trade this year, Shaogang said that Chinese imports from Guyana totalled US$720 million.

Vice Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)  Zhang Shaogang

Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Guo Haiyan later noted that this information was gathered from China’s customs authority.

With the government interested in investments and trade proving beneficial for both countries, Vice President of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Ryan Alexander promised the Chinese that recent legal developments in Guyana should not dissuade them from getting into the market.

“… the Local Content (law) is not to out foreign investors.

“It creates an environment which ensures economic viability for investors while ensuring that Guyanese also benefit from the growing oil and gas economy,” he said, assuring them that the local private sector is very much interested in Chinese support.

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