Focus on new investments as first EU trade mission prepares for Guyana visit from Nov. 20


Companies from several European countries will be coming on a three-day trade mission to Guyana from November 20, European Union (EU) Ambassador René van Nes announced on Friday.

The Ambassador, during a press conference, noted that this is the first time an EU trade mission will be coming to Guyana.

And according to him, there is a huge focus on new investments and partnerships.

“The focus of that mission will be to go into a number of sectors, to explore areas of development, to look for partners, to look for investment opportunities.

“… we hope that will lead to a number of concrete relations (and) investment opportunities that will materialise in the period after that,” van Nes said.

Some of the companies coming to Guyana include Siemens, one of the largest electrical companies in the world and Nokia. Smaller, more specialised companies will be coming.

The Ambassador also said there is representation from the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Spain, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Ireland and France.

Already, the EU Office in Guyana has been working alongside private sector representative bodies here to guarantee that local private sector players can meet with those from the trade mission.

Notably, the Ambassador said the development in Guyana is only now getting underway and there is much interest in the “phenomenal” growth trajectory.

He also acknowledged that the Schengen visa issue, which has been a topic of much discussion locally, is a hindrance for a deepening relation between the two sides.

Still, he said, “… it is important to go ahead even if we don’t have the solution for the Schengen visa.”

He later added, “I wish I could do more. It is an important issue and I hope we can soon find a solution.”

Improved connectivity between the two sides are viewed as important but for Guyanese require the Schengen visa that is issued in Suriname.

In June, President Dr Irfaan Ali said that at least five EU countries have agreed to sponsor Guyana’s bid for Schengen visa-free travel. He, however, noted that Guyana’s passport must be improved and upgraded with biometrics.

The Ambassador, during the press conference, also noted that almost all countries now have passports with biometric data but clarified that the Schengen visa requirement will not be automatically waived when Guyana upgrades its passport.

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