Guyanese Diaspora conference to discuss issues, opportunities this weekend

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2021, 15:46 by Denis Chabrol

The Guyana government plans to address concerns and explore trade and investment opportunities that are available to overseas-based Guyanese, who are interested in participating in Guyana’s development, at this weekend’s inaugural Diaspora conference, Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud said Monday.

“It is covering those broad areas but they speak to the issues of concern and relevance to members of the Diaspora,” he told a news conference ahead of the conference slated for Saturday May 22, 2021.

Overseas-based Guyanese can register here for the conference.

Mr. Persaud, a former Natural Resources Minister, singled out opportunities in oil and gas, construction, agriculture and incentives for remigrants, tourism, youth engagement, and skills attraction.  He said people of Guyanese origin- second and third generations- are keen on finding out how they can become involved.

Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Robeson Benn, according to the Foreign Secretary, is among top government policymakers expected to address the conference on the issue of security. “Security has always been an issue raised within the Diaspora and that’s why we put the focus on security,”

“It is covering those broad areas but they speak to the issues of concern and relevance to members of the Diaspora,”

Almost 500 persons and organisations have already been registered for the event scheduled to start at 9 AM. Organisers say they have limited attendance to 1,000 persons via Zoom.

The aim is to “aggressively pursue the involvement of the Diaspora in national development” as well as provide opportunities for exchange with key government officials.

Government has already appointed Fazal Yussuf as an advisor on Diaspora matters in New York. Monies have been already been set aside in Guyana’s 2021 National Budget for Diaspora engagement in a structured and sustained manner.

“We expect from this conference to use the feedback so that it can impact on the government plans for further engagement and it will allow our new unit, the Diaspora Unit, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, too, to be much more responsive and focus on the needs of the Global Diaspora,” he said.

President Irfaan Ali, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, Housing and Water Minister Collin Croal,  Finance Minister Ashni Singh, Head of Go-Invest Dr Peter Ramsaroop, and representatives from the Guyana Revenue Authority and the American Chamber of Commerce-Guyana are also expected to participate in the conference.