Region Three to become ‘energy capital’ of Guyana -President Ali
-private sector leading in investments
His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali says the Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three) is gearing up to become the “energy capital” of Guyana.
Traditionally known for its agriculture base, Region Three will soon be diversified, with the private sector at the helm of massive investments.
The Head of State made these statements at the sod-turning ceremony for the construction of the billion-dollar West Central Mall, at Groenveldt, Leonora, West Coast Demerara.
Dr. Ali said the Region is expanding, both in population and economic strides. With investments from both the public and private sector in the petroleum sector, major investors are already lining up to capitalise on shore-based facilities, which will create thousands of jobs in the Region.
“We are already speaking to different players in the financial sector who are planning the expansion of their banking and financial facilities in the Region. We are already in advanced negotiations to have land identified for the construction of a new branch of a bank in the Region.
“In addition to the oil and gas sector and opening up of shore-based facilities, is the decision of the Government to land the pipeline in Wales, which will create a revolution in industrial manufacturing and agro-processing where thousands of jobs will be created,” the President said in his address.
There has also been growing interest in investments in the hotel and hospitality sector in the Region, all from the private sector. In addition, one of Guyana’s largest local housing developers would soon be starting work on the development of a massive medium to upscale housing community in the Region, the Head of State said.
President Ali said the investment landscape in Guyana is changing and Guyanese must adapt.
“Guyanese are sacrificing and making life-changing investments to create jobs, better communities. The Government is not only aware of the environment you are investing in, but supportive of the investment by the private sector and becoming the leading implementers of growth and development while the Government facilitate.”
He said investments such as the West Central Mall, are integrated in economic hubs that will act as a catalyst for investment in other sectors, thereby creating jobs and expanding the economy.
The President noted that the Government would provide the supportive mechanisms and machinery to realise the dreams of investors.
“Key to development of the Region is the infrastructure, having transformative infrastructure that will lead to the opening up of new lands, and linked to the creation of new industries and the expansion of agriculture and industrial estates. This is what will take place in this Region.”
President Ali encouraged the private sector to seek out the opportunities and to come together and form consortiums and collectively pursue larger scale opportunities.
The West Central Mall is a $1.044 billion (US $5 million) investment by the Hemraj Albert family, which has been in business for some 38 years.
The massive edifice is set to be completed in the next 24 months and will accommodate a swimming pool, a gymnasium, arcade, food court, movie theatre, restaurant and bar and other amenities. Over 325 persons are expected to be employed.