The Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) – which serves as a primary contact for investors to liaise with Government agencies throughout their investment process – is now internationally certified in accordance with ISO standards.
During a simple ceremony on Tuesday at his Shiv Chanderpaul Drive Office in Georgetown to mark this achievement, President Dr Irfaan Ali expressed that the ISO 9001 certification demonstrates the agency’s commitment to delivering world-class services.
“It demonstrates that we are committed to delivering world-class service in a world-class environment with world-class standards, world-class guidelines and subjecting ourselves to world-class audits because to maintain the ISO certification, it requires that the organisation and everything we do within the organisation, operates at all time with a high level,” the Head of State stated.
He also noted that this development ultimately speaks to the Government’s commitment to issues of transparency and accountability.
“For the agency itself to be willing to subject itself to the audits to get the certification, tells you about the dynamism, tells you about openness, it speaks to transparency, it speaks about our desire to build systems that follow structure, and structures that follow standards, and standards that follow guidelines. All of these are important parameters in the whole conversation of transparency and accountability…that is why the IMF report spoke about improvement in the overall architecture of the country in advancing and promoting transparency and accountability,” President Ali outlined.
Moreover, he noted that the ISO certification adds tremendous value to the “Guyana brand”.
“This is what we want, demonstrating to the world that we are ready to play at any stage and we’re ready to not only play on any stage but we are ready to stand by the standards that the world requires,” he emphasised.
According to President Ali, the move by GO-Invest to become ISO certified aligns with his Government’s vision of building strong governance systems.
“When we assumed office, we committed to building a Government and a governance system that is efficient, reliable, one that responds to the needs of people and one that is nimble,” he explained.
“For a Government system to be nimble, it has to be both rigid in regulation but flexible in the environment in which it operates. To achieve both of this, it is important that a set of standards that are internationally recognised form the basis on which we operate as a Government,” President Ali added.
The Guyanese Head of State went on to emphasise the importance of investments in an economy, noting that “if investment dries up, then economic growth will not thrive”.
In this regard, he noted that GO-Invest, over the last two years, has done a remarkable job at attracting investors to the country.
Moreover, he said there has been great integration of the relationship between GO-Invest and other agencies like the Ministry of Finance, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce.
“It is this collective effort in advancing Government’s policy of creating an enabling environment for private sector investment, for capital formation, that has caused tremendous impetuous and energy in investment portfolio of our country,” President Ali expressed.
For his part, Chief Executive Officer of GO-Invest, Dr Peter Ramsaroop acknowledged that the journey to become ISO certified was inspired by President Ali and his desire to see better standards across Government agencies.
“In doing so, we followed the ISO guidelines over the last two years,” Dr Ramsaroop told members of the media.
Importantly, he noted that “this is not an achievement that stops.”
“It requires us to continue to improve, improve deficiencies that we may have and to deliver better service to our nation and to the international community,” Dr Ramsaroop pointed out.
Asked about the cost of the undertaking, the GO-Invest Head expressed that “the cost is more of our time cost…the audit was minimal, a few hundreds of thousands in terms of getting the audit agencies to send their inspectors in…the significant cost is really us putting the time and effort in ensuring our documentation is in place and our delivery of service meets customer expectation.”