Chinese businesses, with help from local workforce, push China/Guyana trade to US$1.2B


By Kurt Campbell


It was an evening of singing, dancing and Chinese culinary delights. The Asian culture unique to China was on full display as the Association of Chinese Enterprises in Guyana (ACEG) hosted its annual dinner on Friday, commemorating the 2024 Chinese Lunar New Year.

Held at the New Thriving Restaurant, Providence, the occasion also brought into sharp focus the contribution of Chinese businesses to the local economy and the large bilateral gains in the area of trade.

2024 is the year of the dragon. The Lunar New Year began on February 10 but the significance of the dragon in Chinese culture is important for those who observe the occasion as it symbolises courage, confidence and adventurousness, whilst representing success and ambition.

China’s Ambassador to Guyana Guo Haiyan was invited to attend the dinner along with a number of government officials, led by Prime Minister, Brigadier Retired Mark Phillips.

Founded in 2013, with a history of 11 years, the ACEG is one of the earliest-established foreign business chambers in Guyana and it is receiving credit for the notable expansion of trade and business relations between China and Guyana.

ACEG’s Vice President Andrew Jin opened the evening’s activities with a speech on how Chinese businesses in Guyana, registered under the Association, are doing work to promote cooperation with local businesses while also developing deeper business relations.

He said the contributions were nothing short of “positive” even as he applauded the vision of the government which has put the country on a path to becoming first world.

ACEG’s Vice President Andrew Jin

“We are honoured and proud to be part of history,” he told the gathering of well over 300 persons.

The association’s pragmatic cooperation between Guyana and China was highlighted in greater detail by Ambassador Guo. She said it was a proven fact that Chinese businesses in Guyana are adhering to the principles of mutual benefit and abiding by the laws while respecting local customs and contributing to local welfare.

Over the last 11 years, the association’s membership expanded from 14 to 21.

And so, the Ambassador believes that the increase in bilateral trade from US$180 million to US$1.23 billion in 2023 is in part as a result of the work of the ACEG.

“The investment of member companies has soared from less than US$100 million to US$8 billion… its member companies are currently employing about 2, 000 local workers,” the Ambassador said.

China’s Ambassador to Guyana Guo Haiyan

But beyond that, she noted that in supporting Guyana’s development, China has not and will not be absent as she committed support at the government to government level.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Phillips also spoke to the bilateral exchanges in the areas of trade, culture and education and the support China has offered for other large scale projects in infrastructure and healthcare.

But special attention was given to the support offered at the business level.

In the oil and gas sector, China’s national offshore oil company, Sino, dispositioned as a 25 per cent partner in ExxonMobil’s operation, is just one of many landmark projects that lay a strong foundation for Guyana and China relations.

“…Seeing this promising and long-standing show of support presently has further committed to the establishment of a China/Guyana investment and economic cooperation working group, Chinese projects in the country and investment in economic cooperation.

“A working group serves as a platform for the country to develop and collaborate on various aspects of economic and investment cooperation,” the Prime Minister noted.

Prime Minister, Brigadier Retired Mark Phillips.

He further noted that the primary part of such a working group is to facilitate dialogue and cooperation between the participating countries to promote and enhance economic, trade relations and investment opportunities.

“Indeed, now it’s a time to reflect on our journey from a developing country to one of the world’s fastest economies, as well, looking towards the future with the hope of and optimism of prosperity we must also take this opportunity to renew our commitment to shared values of unity and togetherness,” he said.

The evening ended with patrons enjoying the festivities and learning about the Chinese culture and local influence.

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