IDB Invest urged to work closely with private sector to build local capacity

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh has strongly advocated for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to work closely with the private sector, in an effort to increase local capacity.

Dr. Singh was speaking at the launch of the IDB Invest, Caribbean- Suriname and Guyana Edition Workshop, at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston, Georgetown on Monday.

With Guyana being the first Caribbean nation to benefit from the workshop, Minister Singh said the occasion is extremely important and the government is delighted to see the IDB’s private sector making strides in getting more involved with Guyana’s private sector.

Minister Singh addressing the workshop

However, there is much more to be done, the minister highlighted, noting that there are endless opportunities in Guyana’s economic landscape, whether it be large, medium, or small investments.

“I would urge IDB Invest to work closely with as many Guyanese companies as you can, to bring them up to the point where they’re able to access financing from the IDB, not only in the interest of concluding a transaction but also in the interest of them being able to participate in the modern world, the modern way of doing business,” Dr. Singh expressed.

Similarly, Minister Singh urged the local private sector to take advantage of opportunities that are in store and to consider IDB Invest as a viable option for raising finances for investments.

“It might seem, initially, that the barriers to entry are a little bit high, but the reality is that in today’s world, even if you don’t meet those standards in relation to raising your financing with the IDB, if you want to do business with major companies around the world, including the oil and gas sector, chances are you are going to have to comply with most of those standards anyhow,” he explained.

A section of the local private sector representatives at the workshop hosted by IDB Invest

The private sector was also urged to engage representatives of IDB present at the workshop, to better understand the requirements for financial assistance from the institution.

Meanwhile, Country Representative of the IDB Group, Lorena Solórzano highlighted that already, US$58 million in transactions have been approved for Guyana’s local private sector. This, she said, is a testament to the financial institution’s commitment to working with Guyana’s private sector.

“To date, we have approved eight transactions … in agri-business, transport, and logistics, financial, in energy sector and it’s our commitment to keep rolling those numbers,” Solórzano stated.

Country Representative of the IDB Group, Lorena Solórzano.

The series of workshops is designed to match the local private sector needs with the IDB’s private sector in various areas including energy, modernisation of the agriculture sector, and strengthening the transportation system among others.

It saw private sector stakeholders, local and foreign entrepreneurs with projects in Guyana, and medium to large companies among other relevant stakeholders attending.