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Commercial banks urged to support businesses

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 October 2017, 8:21 by Denis Chabrol

Commercial banks are being urged to expand their financial investment vehicles into the rural and hinterland regions of Guyana in an effort to spur economic activity by widening access to capital for more businesses.

This ties into the government’s push to to facilitate small and medium-size businesses as engines of growth and development.

“Investment is the tool for economic expansion and employment,” President Granger told the the Private Sector Commission’s Guyana Business Summit, which concludes Thursday at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown.

He added, “Government has been encouraging the banking sector to expand its financial services to rural agricultural, hinterland, gold mining areas and other zones. Guyana is lagging in the ratio for commercial banks per 100,000 for population.”

The President said access to affordable capital by local investors will spur investments, but warned that increase investments alone will not lead to prosperity as investment must be back by innovation to create a more competitive economy.

“Your Government, over the past 29 months, has been working to create a more enabling environment for business development by encouraging investment and ensuring stable macroeconomic conditions,” the President said.

He noted that Americans, Brazilians, British, Canadians, Chinese, French, Indians, Russians, Surinamese, Turks and Trinidadians are investing heavily here, and similarly, Guyanese should have no good reason for not increasing investments in their own country.

For many years, Guyana’s economy has relied heavily on bauxite, gold, fisheries, rice, sugar and timber.

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