Government has fully supported local investments – President Ali
His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali said that his Government has invested time and energy into the development of local manufacturers and that the interventions made by his Administration over the last two years have resulted in the profitability of companies across many sectors of the economy.
He made this statement as he addressed the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association’s (GMSA) annual award ceremony on Tuesday night at the Ramada Princess Hotel, on the East Bank of Demerara.
The Head of State explained that the Government of Guyana has provided some $80b in fiscal incentives to propel private sector development and that a further $9b is expected to be injected into the economy in tax refunds from the Guyana Revenue Authority by the end of 2022.
The $21b in revenue forgone due to the removal of taxes on fuel and the $5b in freight relief were also referenced.
These measures, he emphasised, were part of a carefully crafted plan to help stimulate economic growth and pave the way for companies in various sectors to become profitable.
The President lauded the investments being made by stakeholders in the service and manufacturing sectors, including an $8b investment in the last two years by Banks DIH; the Barama Company Limited with their investments of more than US$5m and Guyana Shore Base Inc with an investment of US$270m among others.
“This is the type of investment taking place by investors, local investors, right here in this room.”
He also pointed to the Government’s efforts in ensuring that local products gain the “right exposure” needed through the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC), and noted that in 2022, the GMC carried more than 150 local products to markets across the world.
“The most important thing for the small and medium-sized businesses, you may think its capital, but you can have the capital and the best product, but if you don’t have exposure; if your product doesn’t get exposure, it will go nowhere. And I dare anyone in the manufacturing and services sector to say that this Government has not spared every effort to give your product exposure.”
Dr Ali noted that as the economy continues to grow at a rapid pace, in the “race to beat time”, sustainable approaches are necessary.
2030 AND BEYOND
Opportunities that presently exist will be fully realised in the coming years as Guyana looks to make its mark with its new economy by 2030. To achieve this transformation, the Head of State noted that it must be a collective goal, one which is reflective in all aspects of life.
“The truth is, everything is connected, our behaviour, the way we treat each other, the way we treat our environment— it’s all connected to the story of development.”
He explained that the Government also intends to put systems in place to strengthen the economy, including massive legislative and regulatory changes.
“What is needed is finding the right match and the right mix. We cannot be inward-looking in this massive transformation that Guyana is going through, we have to be competitive, and we have to improve our own business model. We have to improve our own governance model, and that is why we are spending so much time and effort in transforming the way governance is delivered.”
President Ali said that the potential ahead cannot be unlocked if some major projects are not completed, including in infrastructure and energy.
The Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley (virtually) and several members of the Diplomatic Corps also spoke at the event.