Gov’t wasting no time in bringing opportunities but private sector must be ready- Pres. Ali

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President Dr. Irfaan Ali told a gathering of business people that his government is diligently creating new business opportunities and attracting much-needed partners but the local private sector must ready itself to capitalise on the emerging opportunities.

The Guyanese Head of State joined local and American business people at a roundtable discussion on Thursday at the Arthur Chung Conference at Liliendaal, Georgetown.

“Those who are in the room should be serious about what they want.

“The role of the government is to do exactly this… we’re here to open the doors and provide an environment for private sector players to engage,” President Ali stressed.

He believes that the government is doing just that; that is, working along with partners like the US Embassy in Georgetown to bring investors seeking partnerships to Guyana.

Those US business people gathered at the Conference Centre are part of the largest-ever visiting trade delegation from the United States. Alongside officials from the US’ EXIM Bank, they are scoping out new business opportunities here.

The visit from the EXIM Bank officials was announced months ago when the Bank inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Guyana to finance projects outside of oil and gas for up to an initial US$2 billion. That MoU, stakeholders acknowledged on Thursday, paved the way for strengthened Guyana/ US relations.

With the US delegation right in Guyana, however, the President called on the private sector to respond to these efforts and engagements with much more alacrity.

To do so, he said they should invest in proper consultancy services to develop business plans, proposals and feasibility studies to guarantee that foreign investors are able to quickly form partnerships with local players.

He also stressed that the private sector should be leading engagement efforts instead of relying on the government.

The President’s statements come just days after he called out local private sector players for failing to capitalise on many of the new opportunities facilitated by the government.

He reminded a recent business development forum that the government brought several international investors, including those from Saudi Arabia and Korea, which were eager to form partnerships with locals.

But, President Ali lamented that no private sector player possessed concrete proposals or feasibility studies to entice those investors.

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