By Fareeza Haniff in Shanghai
President Dr Irfaan Ali on Friday talked up Guyana’s rapid economic growth as he joined several world leaders in delivering opening remarks at China’s Fifth International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai.
The expo, which runs from November 5 to November 10, provides a platform for companies around the world to display their products, promote their brands, and find more business partners in the world’s second-largest economy.
Guyana will have a virtual booth at the event. The expo is seen as vital to the global economy given the fact that China is the largest exporter and the second largest importer in the world.
Foreign companies like Decathlon, Ikea, Bosch and Roche Pharmaceuticals will display hundreds of new products and cutting-edge technologies.
A total of 145 nations, regions and international organizations and enterprises will participate in the event, a significant increase from last year.
As many as 284 companies on the Fortune 500 list or industry leaders will be present at the business exhibition, and hundreds of new products, technologies and services will be exhibited at the six major exhibition areas, including consumer and agricultural products, cutting-edge medical devices, state-of-the-art technologies and facilities, and the automotive and service industries.
Guyana’s President, in his virtual address, used the opportunity to promote the country as an “attractive investment destination” as he boasted about Guyana’s “rapid economic growth, resource wealth, multi-sector opportunities, its accessibility to regional and global markets, and favourable fiscal incentive regime for investors.”
President Ali told the forum of leaders that companies investing in Guyana can be assured of support and protection.
“Guyana’s development trajectory is in take-off mode. Our country is now ranked by the International Monetary Fund as one of the five fastest-growing economies in the world. Our economy is expected to grow by 47% this year.
“Guyana is now an oil-producing state with an estimated 11 billion barrels of recoverable petroleum reserves, one of the highest per capita levels in the world. It also is rich in gold, diamond, timber, bauxite, fisheries, rice, and sugar. It is diversifying and modernizing its agricultural sector,” President Ali boasted.
He emphasized that despite being an oil-producing state, Guyana is committed to a low-carbon growth trajectory.
Meanwhile, he noted that the success of the previous Import Expositions coincides with China’s “impressive” economic strides, noting that China has emerged as a global economic giant.
“Guyana welcomes the opportunity that the China International Import Expo provides for it to showcase trade and investment potential on a global stage. Undoubtedly, this event will be instrumental in enhancing trade and investment with other countries, including the People’s Republic of China,” President Ali said.
President Ali expressed confidence that the world-renowned expo will provide an opportunity for the promotion of business opportunities, increasing trade, and promoting greater economic collaboration between Guyana and China and the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, China’s President, Xi Jinping noted that the expo has been a “window” for the country to build a new development pattern and a platform to promote high-level opening up.
Noting that the global economy lacks momentum, the Chinese President said leaders should use the opportunity to ease the difficulties of development, enhance the strength of cooperation, foster innovation and seek shared benefits.
“We should push forward economic globalization, increase the momentum of development of all countries, and ensure that the fruits of development will benefit people in all countries in a more equitable way,” President Xi said in his virtual address.
He said that China will encourage all countries and parties to share the opportunities of the country’s large market and accelerate the building of a strong domestic market.
“China will encourage all countries and parties to share opportunities for institutional opening-up. We will steadily expand institutional opening-up such as rules, regulations, management and standards, effectively implement the new version of the Catalogue of Industries for Encouraging Foreign Investment, and deepen the construction of comprehensive demonstration zones for the opening up of the national service sector.
“We will implement the strategy for upgrading the pilot free trade zone, accelerate the construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port, and give play to the role of a comprehensive experimental platform for reform and opening up,” President Xi told the forum.
The international expo is being held under the theme, ‘New Era, Shared Future.’