Guyana open to investors – President Ali

President Irfaan Ali and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo hosted a joint news conference at State House on Friday (Office of the President photo)

As Guyana continues to pursue a path of unprecedented growth and development, President Irfaan Ali said that Guyana is open for business and will do what is necessary to support and encourage private sector investments.

“Guyana is open to investments, we are open to investors…in a transparent manner,” President Ali asserted during a joint press conference on Friday with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

The President highlighted that the framework agreement signed today between Guyana and the US will pave the way for more concrete collaboration between the private sectors of the two countries.

He posited that the agreement will allow for the mobilsation of US capital and US private sector to participate in the wide-ranging economic opportunities and infrastructural transformation that is expected to take place here.

“More importantly, it has to do with the transfer of knowledge, the transfer of technology, cooperation, building capacity between the US private sector and the local private sector and taking the partnership beyond the two governments to the private sector, so that you will have a greater integration of the private sector and greater participation; and that is what we want”.

According to President Ali, there are great opportunities in Guyana for the diaspora and the US private sector to tap into.

“So I think this agreement not only sends the right signal, but set the foundation for that collaboration, cooperation, transfer of technology and more importantly building of local capacity here,” he posited.

The President noted that oil and gas provides a great impetus to the more macro-economic vision for Guyana. “It allows us to build and expand, and create an environment in which our traditional sectors will become competitive and also gives us additional resources that we can transform the country from an infrastructure perspective.”

He added that the resources from oil will assist Guyana in building a new economy that is focused heavily on knowledge, ICTs, health and education as export commodities and expansion in the agriculture sector.

President Ali highlighted that there is a massive market in CARICOM, but in order for Guyana to become competitive and take advantage, “we have to have economies of scale, so the resources will help us to grow these sectors that will bring additional wealth, create new jobs, and expand economic opportunities for our country”.

Meanwhile, Secretary Pompeo committed to doing what is necessary to assist Guyana in accessing more Foreign Direct Investments from the US private sector.

Noting that the “American model” is based on “building on the best things of your country” he said that US private sector will bring capital, resources and technological capabilities that are much needed to develop resources and infrastructure here.

He added: “we will do the things we can to help American companies be successful, have access, have opportunities to engage in fair and transparent business dealings with Guyana.”

Pompeo, however, expressed that the US is equally interested in seeing the wealth that is created from these opportunities also go to all Guyanese in a transparent and fair way.      

Several US companies, including oil giant ExxonMobil, are already operating in Guyana’s oil and gas sector.