President Ali encourages local private sector to invest in tourism, agriculture
With the level of large-scale development unfolding in Guyana, President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has identified several key sectors that are ripe for investment, promising exponential rewards.
Speaking to a gathering at the Private Sector Commission’s Corporate Dinner at the Marriott Hotel on Monday evening, the president said the government continues to create a wealth of opportunities for the local private sector to thrive.
He expressed the need for more synergy among this group of investors, and more forward-thinking initiatives that align with the country’s development path.
According to the head of state, the tourism sector is a “low-hanging fruit” for local investment, as the industry is poised for dramatic takeoff in this year and the years to come.
Importantly, the government has been investing in boosting Guyana’s eco-tourism industry, combining modern amenities with natural beauty.
These investments help to build the country’s already impressive repertoire of distinctive sights and tourism experiences.
He said that increased private sector investment will further propel this growth.
“The luxury of being at one with nature is one that the market badly wants. I want to see the local private sector investing in tourism because we will back the investment with marketing, infrastructure, and fiscal incentives as a government. This is an important feature for us. We have developed our own eco brand here in Guyana, one that speaks to a number of issues such as climate and the environment,” the head of state said.
The government will soon launch the construction of a massive luxury hotel on Carifesta Avenue, Georgetown, to bring a further boost to the hospitality sector.
President Ali has spoken of this facility before, at a previous PSC dinner, where he said that it will feature first-class conference and entertainment amenities, which will be combined with a modern boardwalk along the seawall.
Moreover, small businesses have also been touted as worthwhile investment hubs.
“We have people who are designers, and we have people in the interior who do specific crafts, more local types of products. We have to get the larger companies to adopt these small innovators and bring them into their business model, and help them to push their products. The tourism sector has major opportunities. We need the private sector to move into that direction and invest in this sector,” he said.
Turning his attention to the agriculture sector, the president reminded of the government’s plan to position Guyana as a regional hub.
“The government is already putting resources into the establishment of a regional food hub, but why can’t the private sector come together and say “We are going to start by being the major buyer and distributor of all the produce in Guyana”?” he questioned.
While recognising that Guyana does not currently have the production capacity to serve the entire region, he suggested that the private sector pilot the formation of a distribution hub to meet regional demands, sourcing produce from Northern Brazil.
“Let us build our own food distribution hub from Guyana by the Guyanese private sector so we can get our food into the diaspora market, and into the Caribbean market,” the president urged.
“We have to move to the position of, when we have excesses, we move to do the processing and the pulping of fruits and all of these things. You all need to come together, create a national distribution company that brings all the produce, integrate with Northern Brazil. We are ready to embrace and support this.”
Based on the Guyanese leader’s assessment, Guyana will be fully self-sufficient by 2026.
Efforts are already underway to tap into several regional and international markets.
“By the end of this year we should be in a position where our black eye beans and red beans are completely produced locally and after that we should be in a position where we take the Jamaican and other markets,” President Ali predicted.
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance and Public Service, Dr Ashni Singh, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, Chief Executive Officer of Go-Invest, Peter Ramsaroop, and Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Komal Singh were all in attendance at the event.