Int’l firms confident of Guyana’s sovereignty, business climate following Energy Conference – Dr Jagdeo

International firms with business interests in Guyana are now confident about the country’s sovereignty and investment climate after the culmination of the largest Guyana Energy Conference & Supply Chain Expo 2024 held over the last four days.

Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, General Secretary of the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP), during a news Conference on Thursday, highlighted that a prominent concern of the multi-million firms, privately canvassed to him, was the potential impact of conflict between Guyana and Venezuela.

People’s Progressive Party’s General Secretary, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

He explained that the event served as a platform to dispel some of the misconceptions about the Guyana/Venezuela border controversy that has been portrayed by international media.

The government maintains that the Essequibo territory is lawfully a part of Guyana, citing the 1899 Arbitral Award as concrete proof. Venezuela is contesting the validity of the award but has been unable to substantiate its argument with concrete evidence to support its position.

“‘Most of them are leaving here convinced [now] based on what we saw at the conference that Exxon Mobil is pressing ahead with its investment programmes that are expanding in terms of investment here in Guyana,” he said, emphasising that these firms are now positive of the investment prospects.

The general secretary made this pronouncement as he voiced his disapproval of Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton’s perception of the event. Norton in his weekly media engagement had referred to the conference as ‘‘pageantry and grandstanding.”

“I guess he would not know better about what conferences of these sorts mean to a country,” the general secretary stated in response.

Dr Jagdeo chided Norton’s “little league” perception, emphasising the significance and gravity of the conference’s discussions and decisions.

“This conference is privately organised and it grows from strength to strength every year. A large number of people pay a considerable sum of money to come and participate and they do so because they think that the information shared at these conferences are valuable,” he underscored.

The third edition of the high-profile conference was held at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, themed “Fueling Transformation and Modernisation”, featuring 200 exhibitors and hundreds of attendees from 21 countries including foreign heads of state.