Trade between Guyana and the European Union (EU) has skyrocketed over the past several years and as the local economy transforms, President Dr. Irfaan Ali has encouraged a visiting EU business delegation to capitalise on investment opportunities here.
The first ever EU trade mission is in Guyana this week. There are about 23 companies on the mission, including major players like Nokia and Siemens.
The Head of State said Guyana’s total trade within the EU, between January 2017 and September 2023, amounted to US$11 billion.
Notably though, he revealed that the trade grew by 778% between 2021 and 2022, a movement from US$614 million to US$5.4 billion, largely on account of developments in the oil and gas sector.
Even as trade between Guyana and the EU is already increasing substantially, the Guyanese Head of State said there is room for many investments here.
Dr. Ali addressed the visiting delegation and other stakeholders on Monday at their first formal engagement held at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown. He told them that there are substantial investment opportunities here, particularly in healthcare, agriculture, tourism and new technologies.
Trade could increase even more with these EU companies figuring out what prospects exist here. And as he has done with other visiting delegations, President Ali made it clear that Guyana is open for business.
Evidencing this, he said, is the menu of incentives rolled out by the government. These include tax relief meant to encourage investments here.
“What we’re seeking to do is create competitive advantages to Guyana so that you can relocate your services here or expand your services here to get better access to the markets,” Dr. Ali said.
He added:“Policy framework must allow those companies to get the best possible competitive advantage.”
European Union (EU) Ambassador René van Nes, in brief remarks, said the companies represented in this first trade mission are quite diverse and eager to capitalise on the opportunities here.
Collectively, he noted that those 23 companies raked in about 400 billion Euros last year and employ about 500,000 people.