“Guyana is the most exciting place to be in the world” – Finance Minister
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, has promulgated that Guyana is the most exciting place to be in world, marketing the country’s traditional sectors that are open for investment.
The finance minister made these disclosures during his presentation to a press conference following Guyana’s National Day celebrations at Expo 2020 in Dubai on Tuesday.
In highlighting the economic standpoint of Guyana, Dr. Singh explained, “in 2020, Guyana’s economy grew by 43.5 per cent, making it one of the few countries in the world to defy the pandemic and recording positive growth and making it one of the equally few countries to have ever achieved such astronomical levels of growth in any one year. The Guyanese economy is projected to grow by 20.4 per cent and 48.7 per cent by 2021 and 2022 respectively… This expo comes at an historic time for Guyana and the Guyanese economy.”
On the side of the government, the senior finance minister reminded that strong policies have been directed to the traditional sectors, especially against the country’s rapidly growing and highly competitive non-oil economy. He said the non-oil sectors such as mining, forestry, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, hospitality, health and education, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are poised to take-off with proper investment.
“Information communications and other technology is an enabler of modernisation, such as in the roll-out of digital solutions towards e-government, the build out of smart cities, smart neighbourhoods and smart homes and the use of digital solutions to improve efficiency and national competitiveness. ICT also is a primary employer including through the provision of high value business processing outsourcing (BPO) services for the global market place as well promoting digital innovation in all sectors,” the minister articulated.
Regarding tourism and hospitality, the minister referred to the construction of major internationally branded hotels in Guyana. The government has already greenlit the construction of 20 hotels. He also spoke of the opportunities to develop new subsectors such as cruise ship terminals, yachting marinas, and large-scale tourist-based resorts.
“There are also a number of key underlying factors that have combined to make Guyana one of the most rapidly growing economies in the world and one of the most attractive destinations for investment, globally. Strategic geographic location, sharing a border with Suriname, allowing easy access to Suriname, Brazil and French Guiana, as well as the close proximity to North America,” the Minister related.
Guyana, being a member of key hemispheric trade bodies like the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, bodes well for the country and potential investors.
Further, the minister highlighted the “strong and vibrant domestic and diasporic private sector” that is ready and eager to partner with international partners, whether through joint ventures or other suitable structures.
“And most of all,” Dr. Singh pointed out, “a government that has laid out an incredible exciting vision and blue print for rapid transformation in Guyana into realised prosperity. Equal importance, a government that has shown the capacity and willingness to transform vision into reality.”
His Excellency Dr. Irfaan Ali on Tuesday said Guyana has received “very aggressive interests” from investors from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but was clear that these investments must include the local private sector, supported by strong local content policies from the Government.
The Head of State too was at the time responding to a question during a press conference. President Ali pointed out that bilateral talks between the two states started before Expo 2020 Dubai and that he is looking forward to continued discussions.
The President lauded the UAE for having a very modern, technologically efficient system of development. He said that it has focused over the years on developing smart grids, one-card systems, and health information management systems bolstered by the oil and gas sector.