By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor
[PARAMARIBO, Suriname] – According to Paramaribo’s Waterkant News, Surinamese investors have their eyes set on neighbouring Guyana, where they are discovering more and more investment opportunities; however, they are very disappointed in the corruption and the bureaucracy they face there.
“Guyana is our main goal,” said Anil Padarath, board member of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Suriname.
While there are some setbacks in establishing a business quickly in Guyana, investors are complaining that corruption is rampant and the bureaucracy is cumbersome. But this isn’t discouraging them from expanding their businesses in Guyana.
According to the Chamber of Commerce of Suriname, in the first quarter of this year alone, more than $30 million of products were exported to Guyana. The chamber wants nothing more than to encourage this trend.
“Guyana is very lucrative for Suriname. There is a good market for quality products from Suriname and there are many opportunities,” said Padarath.
Investing and setting up businesses in neighbouring Guyana is becoming more widespread, he said.
“Rossignol Butcheries has been successful in Guyana,” said Padarath.
The Surinamese company opened last year in Guyana a state-of-the-art meat market and bakery, the first of its kind in Guyana. They also sell Dutch cheese, which is a favourite there.
Big names like Rudisa Beverages and Fernandes from Suriname are also in Guyana. The insurance company Assuria made it first overseas expansion into Guyana. Surinamese entrepreneurs are already investing in oxygen production, mining and tourism in Guyana, the Waterkant News reported.
Padarath is impressed by the agricultural sector of Guyana and said it looks promising for Surinamese investors.
Besides Guyana’s culture of corruption and stifling bureaucracy that investors allege, they are also complaining about Guyana’s outdated and unfair investment laws. Rudisa recently won a case at the Caribbean Court of Justice against Guyana for unfair business practices.
There is no country in this world which is corruption free.
Slowly we have to weed out the bad apples and send the strong message.
Businesses must be encouraged and helped.
Our people needs the employment and taxes.