By Vishani Ragobeer
With a booming oil industry and many spinoff developments, Guyana’s economy is expanding rapidly. And Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves believes that this expansion offers local business owners the opportunity to accumulate more wealth.
But once they do so, he posited that there are abundant opportunities for them to invest in his country.
Dr. Gonsalves, during an exclusive interview with the News Room, highlighted that the two countries have shared good relations for decades and as a result, many Guyanese reside in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and have become productive members of the country.
Now, however, he believes more Guyanese can invest there.
“Guyana itself is not trading in energy products directly.
“It is companies trading but with the increased wealth of Guyana, there would be resources for investors from Guyana to invest in a number of areas in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
The Forestry, housing and education sectors are among the areas Dr Gonsalves is interested in deepening relations.
Guyana also wants to provide energy solutions through its natural gas, in particular, to the Caribbean in collaboration with northern Brazil, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
Asked if this would interest St. Vincent, the Prime Minister said he is “encouraged by those types of discussions”.
He, however, explained that most of the country’s electricity needs are supplied by diesel purchased through Trinidad and Tobago. He also noted that the PetroCaribe arrangement with Venezuela is also in effect once again.
“With Guyana in the business that obviously is another possible area of opening,” he said nevertheless.
Diplomatic matters are also another key area for the two countries to collaborate on, he said.
Outside of collaboration in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Guyana’s “ambitious” food security plans, St. Vincent is hoping to enlist Guyana’s support in its bid for the Presidency pro tempore of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
CELAC is the office that represents the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States in international events. And Gonsalves believes that a CARICOM country should head it.
“We have never had a CARICOM country holding the pro tempore Presidency of CELAC and this would be the first time, if we are successful in our presidency,” the Caribbean leader explained.
A meeting of the heads of CELAC will be held later this month in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Dr Gonsalves leaves Guyana on Friday, after spending four days in the country.