More investment in private sector, less financial aid as Guyana economy transforms – EU Ambassador

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With one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Guyana is expected to see a decrease in direct funding and instead an increase in investments in the private sector by European Union (EU).

This is according to the new EU Ambassador to Guyana René Van Nes who, during an interview on Thursday, said that Guyana’s relationship with the bloc will evolve to one of equal partnership.

“The higher the GDP [Gross Domestic Product] of Guyana, the less you will get. So the money has been fixed for the coming four years, that is less than it was before and that reflects the progress that you’re making,” Van Nes.

Van Nes explained that Guyana is earmarked to receive some €20 million in funding for the next four years,. However, this excludes funding hoped to achieve through leveraging financial institutions which will be invested in the private sector.

“Official Development Assistance (ODA) that is not the engine that makes a country move forward, it is at best the oil in the engine. The engine is what the private sector will bring in, is foreign direct investment,” Van Nes said while quoting the Director-General of the European Commission, Stefano Manservisi.

“Can we use part of our resources to bring in, to leverage the private sector? Can we bring in with, lets say, a few million euros with development assistance, can we bring in a multitude of that in terms of loans, in terms of guarantees, in terms of foreign direct investment?” he added.

The new strategy is part a new model the Union is applying worldwide called the Global Gateway – a new European strategy to boost smart, clean and secure links in digital, energy and transport sectors and to strengthen health, education and research systems across the world.

Van Nes opined that the Government of Guyana is doing a “splendid job” in creating more resources, and that funding by the EU is significantly smaller than that which is benefit generated locally.

In these regards, he noted that he would rather focus on providing expertise and to ensure that the country’s resources are used in the best way and in the interest of the people.

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