First Shanghai/Guyana expo soon; Guyana can be manufacturing hub for electrical vehicles

…President Ali talks up investment opportunities with Shanghai’s Mayor


By Fareeza Haniff in Shanghai


With a booming oil and gas industry, Guyana has captured the attention of the world and recognizing this, the country’s President, Dr Irfaan Ali continues to encourage investment from foreign countries.

And on Wednesday, during a meeting with Gong Zheng, the Mayor of Shanghai, the Head of State made a case for Guyana to become a manufacturing hub for electrical vehicles (EV).

“We do not want Guyana only to be a selling hub for your products, we want Guyana to be an important manufacturing hub for your products.

“We want Guyana to be a natural choice as your partner in developing your industries, in moving to manufacturing and industrial development… having electronic vehicles manufactured in Guyana…for the [Latin America and Caribbean] region,” President Ali said during his meeting with the Mayor at the Great Hall in Shanghai.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali meets with Gong Zheng, the Mayor of Shanghai (Photo: Office of the President/ July 26, 2023)

And to prove how serious he is about the manufacturing of EVs, President Ali said his government is ready to “build a shell, to invest in a shell, to host such a facility in Guyana and to have the private sector maybe have a stake in the project.”

President Ali said he is ready to expedite this process.

“I am willing to commit resources to build the shell to accommodate such an investment to push development in Guyana,” the Head of State told the Mayor.

In marketing Guyana as a manufacturing hub, the President said he is willing to designate an area as the ‘Shanghai Industrial manufacturing hub.’

“I have been speaking about making Guyana the Headquarters capital for the [LAC] region…some companies in Shanghai can establish a footprint in Guyana so that they can have subregional headquarters in Guyana,” President Ali said.

Shanghai/Guyana Expo

Additionally, he also committed to hosting the first-ever Shanghai/Guyana exposition in a year.

“We are ready to host in Guyana the first-ever Shanghai investment forum in Guyana, where you will bring your businesses, you will bring all your E vehicles, all your technology and we will invite all the leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean and the private sector to Guyana to have the first Shanghai/Guyana expo…to have all the products and services [on display].

“We will work with you on this, and set up a committee to have this done within one year.

“This will be a very important catalyst in sending a strong signal,” the Head of State said.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali and the Guyanese delegation during a meeting with Gong Zheng, the Mayor of Shanghai (Photo: Office of the President/ July 26, 2023)

He is optimistic that the EV manufacturing hub can be launched at the expo next year.

“The government is willing to put skin in the game, we’re willing to put up the shell for such a facility, I am sure the private sector can raise some capital…and with your help, we can do this and create a positive change.”

Meanwhile, the Mayor accepted a proposal from President Ali to establish an investment desk in Shanghai.

“We’re hoping also that through your office, a specialized window that will help our Private Sector in a more targeted way…we want an investment desk set up so that we can work together with the city of Shanghai in collaborating with the many opportunities that lie ahead,” the President said.

In response, the Mayor said President Ali has his full support and he will immediately move to establish the desk.

“For this investment window, I think it can focus on agriculture, energy and urban infrastructure… we can carry out pragmatic cooperation in these areas and encourage qualified companies to conduct a two-way investment and benefit from each other,” the Mayor noted.

Other areas of investment discussed include carbon credit, agriculture and eco-tourism and developing Guyana’s shipping industry.

“We are willing to give you the opportunity here in Shanghai…to build the first eco-tourism-five star tourist facility in Guyana.”

A communique based on the meeting is expected to be finalized soon. President Ali is on a one-week visit to China with members of Guyana’s private sector.

He is expected to meet with the Chinee President, Xi Jinping this week.

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