By Sharda Bacchus
Guyana is currently the United Kingdom’s (UK) leading trade partner in the region and over the next four days, a visiting trade mission from the country will be engaging local stakeholders and the government to explore investment opportunities in various sectors.
There are eleven delegates, including two major contractors, asset risk managers and environmental technical experts who are part of the UK mission here.
The mission comprises of seven companies: Sangfroid Group, Price Forbes, Enviro Technology Services Limited, Innovo Group, Dints International, Invest Northern Ireland, and Contracta Construction UK Limited. They are drawn from the various sectors including mining, construction, defence and security, and environmental sectors.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Guyana’s Minister of Finance, Dr Ashni Singh said the interest by international countries in Guyana reflect the opportunities that exists within the country’s “rapidly” growing economy.
“We in Guyana remain open for business. We welcome companies from around the world investing in Guyana and doing business in Guyana and with Guyanese companies,” Dr Singh said.
He noted that the mission’s engagements will go beyond dialogues with government representatives but will include direct discussions with the private sector.
“Because ultimately the real business is going to be done when they speak to their potential counterparts in Guyana and that’s a very important part of this mission as has been the case with every other mission,” the Finance Minister contended.
This is the third such mission visiting Guyana within the past 18 months.
According to Dr Singh, 50 per cent of the companies from previous British trade missions have already concluded at least one transaction in Guyana and are doing business here.
Meanwhile, in brief remarks, British High Commissioner to Guyaan, Jane Miller said already there is a strong partnership between the two countries, particularly in the area of trade.
But despite this, the High Commissioner said the UK foresees “many much more” opportunities for business in Guyana.
“We have some great businesses investing here in many different sectors, whether we are looking at construction, food and drink, services, the list could go on and on and it’s because we deliver a very strong brand.
“It’s because we are known about quality, people know we are trustworthy partners to be working with,” the High Commissioner said.
Similarly, Managing Director of Caribbean Council, Chris Bennett said Guyana possesses “huge” infrastructural opportunities and collaboration with UK companies can bring their international expertise ranging from airport expansion and upgrade of roads.
“There are investment opportunities both with the private sector and the public sector in energy, oil and gas infrastructure coming out from the gas-to-shore pipeline, the agriculture space. There is a lot of interest,” Bennett said.
He added, “there are a lot of positive things that has happened in the last 18 months which really open up the UK market for Guyanese exporters and the Guyanese market to UK suppliers.”
The mission has partnered with the Caribbean Council, the British Chamber of Commerce Guyana and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI). The mission will conclude its visit on December 1.