In a welcome reception hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Guyana Inc for newly-accredited United States (US) Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch on Tuesday at the Marriott Hotel, the new envoy showered praises on the Chamber for the rapid growth it has made since its launch last year and said she was thrilled to engage with it immediately.
Globally, AmCham promotes and creates bilateral trade, business opportunities, and partnerships. And the US Ambassador said these objectives are among top priorities for her mission. “So, it is very gratifying to have a local partner committed to the same goals. We see a long future of continued economic cooperation between the United States and Guyana and we will do all we can to expand economic opportunities and promote growth across all sectors,” she stated.
Ambassador Lynch pointed out that Guyana’s Private Sector is carving out its role in a new and exciting era in the country’s development trajectory. Lynch said AmCham-Guyana has already had several notable successes, from taking the organisation from a mere idea to an official affiliate in record time and exponential growth of its membership since its August 2018 founding.
“…to its already diverse and impactful civil engagement, AmCham-Guyana has shown that it intends to be an active stakeholder committed to seeing growth and development in Guyana. Both American and Guyanese companies will benefit from the dedication and commitment of this organisation, as will the people of Guyana and the United States,” she added.
The Ambassador also highlighted another collaborative effort from this year between Guyana’s Private Sector and the US Embassy. Last June, the Private Sector became part of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (or OSAC) by setting up its own Country Council. These councils focus on issues, including business and information security, as well as intellectual property rights.
Meanwhile, President of AmCham-Guyana, Zulficar Ally, in his address to the gathering noted that the organisation now has 45 active members and seven committees through which members can participate. Further, AmCham is also an associate member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean, which received the fattest acceptance in history.
Ally revealed that partnerships between local companies and that of the United States have already begun to bear fruit. In addition to that, AmCham has also made significant stride in ensuring that it is becomes a diversified and gender neutral organisation.
With the recent oil discoveries, now totalling an estimated 5.5 billion barrels, and which have catapulted Guyana onto the global stage; Lynch said the country’s economy is much more than oil. This, she said, is evident in the fact that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has seen positive growth for at least the last 10 years.
Lynch said foreign investment is likely to greatly increase in the coming years. “Guyana has vast untapped resources, so the potential is enormous. Together with sound democratic governance and an independent and active civil society, the Private Sector here has the opportunity to thrive, and Guyana has the opportunity to become one of the wealthiest countries in the hemisphere.”
The US envoy also commended the move being made to establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund. She said no matter what the future holds for the law itself, having a Sovereign Wealth Fund in place from the first day of production is needed to protect 100 per cent of the people’s patrimony. This includes not only profits from the oil that has already been discovered, but also from new discoveries.
However, Lynch also said prudent management of incoming revenues will ensure that investments by the Government in its people do not simply last for as long as oil is pumped out of the ground, but beyond that, for the next 30, 50, even 100 years, through the creation of diverse new industries and projects.