With expertise & money to finance big projects, Jamaica asserts itself in Guyana

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By Vishani Ragobeer
Vishani@newsroom.gy

Guyana’s prolific oil finds and rapidly expanding economy have attracted investment interest from numerous countries and now Jamaican investors, with their government’s support, are asserting themselves in Guyana.

A 38-member business delegation visited Guyana this week alongside Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Aubyn Hill.

Some of the business people benefit from prior linkages in Guyana but the overwhelming sentiment, according to Hill, is the increased interest to deepen relationships between the two Caribbean nations.

The Jamaican Minister, while engaging reporters on Wednesday, said that the two countries have shared good social and political ties for decades and deepening those ties would not be difficult.

Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Aubyn Hill (Photo: News Room/ October 5, 2022)

More importantly, now that Jamaica is poised for expansion and Guyana is a fertile space for economic growth, it is believed that this would be a “natural place” for the north Caribbean Island.

“We know how to train people, we know how to handle hospitality, we understand tourism, we know how to do logistics in terms of Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO).

“…therefore, we believe that Guyana was a natural fit economically, politically and socially,” Hill emphasised.

He also said that Jamaican financial institutions have enough capital and experience to help finance the big projects being pursued in Guyana.

Some of these institutions, like the NCB Capital Markets Limited, have already been providing much-needed financing for local projects, albeit without a physical presence in Guyana.

With the strong regional and international interest in Guyana already, is Jamaica ‘late to the party’?

Minister Hill doesn’t think so. In fact, he said that Guyana is changing so rapidly and dramatically that there is still so much to do.

“…we’re really right in time for the game in Guyana,” the Jamaican Minister posited.

Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, Chief Investment Officer to Guyana and Agency Head of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) inks a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Diane Edwards, the President of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), as the two countries seek to deepen business relations (Photo: News Room/October 5, 2022)

In another two months’ time, a larger business delegation is expected to accompany Hill on a trade mission here.

Aside from Hill’s statements, Diane Edwards, the President of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) which is the island’s national investment and export promotion agency, said that interest in Guyana has been increasingly strong in recent times.

“I think that people have read a lot about what’s going on in Guyana.

“People know about oil, they know there is going to be huge development in Guyana,” she said.

With the growing interest, she noted that some key areas for greater collaboration have been identified. Tourism is one particularly interesting sector for mutual development that could see the two countries creating a beach/ jungle multi-destination tourism package.

Edwards also said that further collaboration with Jamaica would prove advantageous for Guyana’s export efforts since the Port of Kingston is on all international shipping lanes.

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