Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh today oversaw the signing of a historic US$4M loan agreement between Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-Invest and Muneshwers’ Limited for the procurement of a mobile crane by Muneshwers which will see its wharf being modernised with the acquisition of this new equipment. It would be the most recent agreement signed in relation to that financial institution’s assistance and support for a private sector investment project and the first mobile crane in Guyana to be deployed in the shipping industry.
During the signing ceremony which took place just after a courtesy call on Dr. Singh by new General Manager of the Caribbean country Department (CCB) Mr. Tariq Alli, the Senior Finance Minister expressed his appreciation to the CCB as well to Chief Executive Officer of IDB-Invest James Scriven for the work done in order for Guyana to have reached this point in terms of partnership with the IDB. The CCB is an arm within the IDB. The Minister also thanked the private sector in Guyana including the team at Muneshwers led by Robin Muneshwer whose perseverance, according to Dr. Singh played a great part in the project being materialized.
“I think it goes without saying that this is an incredibly exciting time in Guyana’s economic history. The country is undergoing unprecedented economic growth. We are going to be growing by more than 25 % over the medium term, easily by more than 25 % in the next three to four years. This has catalyzed the remarkable expansion in the non-oil economy,” Dr. Singh explained.
He added that Government wants to use this period in Guyana to build out as quickly as possible ‘the foundation of a strong and competitive non-oil economy and for this reason we are building out infrastructure very aggressively, building out capacity for social services, roads, bridges, ports, hospitals, schools etc. and we are doing this with the support of a number of strategic and important development partners not least among whom is the IDB’.
Minister Singh also expressed appreciation for the strong support the IDB has been providing on the public sector side.
“Given the changes that are taking place in the Guyanese economy we see the role played by institutions like the IDB changing somewhat in the course of the next few years. And in particular we see the need for increased emphasis on private sector operations because in fact this rapid expansion in the Guyanese economy is being driven by the private sector and requires sustained investment by the private sector going forward,” Minister Singh said.
“We would like to see more private sector operations done because we see this as absolutely critical to ensure that we are able to realize the private sector-led growth that we anticipate will take us through the medium term to long term,” the Finance Minister emphasized.
Alluding to the importance of this specific project, Dr. Singh concluded that the significance of the project does not only lie in the amount invested but in the fact that the IDB can do business with the private sector in Guyana.
In April this year, the Finance Minister hosted a Roundtable meeting with representatives of the Private Sector and Mr. James Scriven at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre where the teams discussed Guyana’s Development Agenda.
The meeting focused on the wide range of private-sector opportunities for possible investment by the Bank such as an expansion of trade financing with Commercial Banks and providing support to micro-enterprises.
Additionally, discussions centered on various sectors poised for rapid expansion including oil and gas, agriculture and agro-processing, tourism and Information Communications Technology (ICT).
It also allowed for an examination of available financing instruments, various mechanisms, and modalities of accessing this financing and examples of how these mechanisms have worked in other countries.
IDB Invest is the private sector arm of the IDB. Its aim is to advance economic development and improve lives by encouraging the growth of the private sector. It offers an array of investment opportunities and provides its clients with customized financing solutions and expert advice, tailored to their specific industry and market.
Government has been working aggressively to create the conditions for private sector-led growth with Government policies designed to create jobs and allow for income generation. [Press Release]