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Guyana woos foreign investors in agriculture, services sectors

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 October 2021, 9:00 by Denis Chabrol

Left to right: Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond; Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh; President Irfaan Ali and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson. At the lectern is the Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop.

President Irfaan Ali and his delegation on Tuesday wooed investors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to take advantage of opportunities in large-scale agriculture as well as a range of services.

He told a news briefing at the Expo 2020 Dubai that Middle Eastern nation and Guyana could “twin our approach to development” particularly through joint ventures in agriculture. “The UAE also has to face challenges of food security. Let us see how Guyana can support your food security agenda and that of the region, matching your resources, investment with land and that is the kind of visionary approach we want to create moving forward,”  he said. The President said the UAE could use Guyana to look beyond its traditional areas and partner with Guyana in expanding its “footprint” to South America.

Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh added that areas of opportunity in agri-business included the establishment of mega-farms, upgrading and modernising of supply chain systems, climate-smart agriculture, and agro-processing

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge  Walrond, who is also part of Guyana’s delegation to the Expo 2020 Dubai,  indicated that her country, an emerging oil producer,  would be examining the possibility of setting up a similar financial services sector to that of Dubai. “We believe it offers a great lesson and model to emulate for countries like Guyana which have been blessed with petroleum resources and seek to lay the foundations of a sustainable, diversified economy,” she said,

“We bring you the message that Guyana is open for business and stands ready to take its rightful place on the global stage,” she added.

Ms. Walrond encouraged investors to capitalise on opportunities in “high quality hotel rooms” and “upscale eco-lodges” to cater for increasing visitor arrivals as well as allied high-end conference services. “We aim to build our hospitality industry on the wave of demand that is currently accompanying our petroleum-driven economic expansion and our objective is for Guyana to become the leading business and pleasure hospitality destination in the Americas,” she said.

She added that there are also lucrative opportunities in shipping and logistic services as the country expands its road and bridge links to northern Brazil and and the Guyana Shield countries.

The Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister also said that Guyana has the right conditions such as multiple submarine fibre-optic cables, a liberalised telecommunications market and the absence of earthquakes and hurricanes.

The Minister said there were opportunities in the health and education sector such as teaching hospitals, specialty hospitals and offshore campuses of international universities.

ExxonMobil has discovered more than 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. Currently, the country produces 120,000 barrels of oil per day.