Multi-million investments in Guyana being considered by British Trade Mission

Dubbing Guyana as the most exciting investment destination, a group of United Kingdom (UK) based businesses are currently in the country exploring opportunities in a variety of sectors that could see millions of dollars in investments being injected into the Guyanese economy.

The “British Business Mission” is wrapping up a four-day visit to Guyana during which they networked with both local Private Sector and Government officials as they scope out opportunities for potential investments. The delegation is being hosted by London-based The Caribbean Council, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and the British High Commission’s Department for International Trade.

At a press conference on Wednesday, representatives from the British companies which ranged from construction materials to beverage all lauded the plethora of opportunities available for investments here.

In fact, Managing Director of The Caribbean Council, Chris Bennett outlined that some of the projects that are being floated would see multimillion-dollar investments being made here.

“We’ve been here three days and many of the projects that are under discussion are multi, multimillion-dollar investments… There really is, I think, exciting prospects to do so. I think we, on our side and the counterparts we have brought in, need to go and weigh our numbers, and work out how we can make these projects happen… It’s a good excuse for us to be back very soon,” he stated.

Bennett said the Group has also been paying keen attention to the ongoing Budget proceedings in the National Assembly and is excited about Government’s plans for investments in various sectors of the Guyanese economy. He added that some of the companies that are a part of the mission could potentially play a really helpful part in driving those plans and helping to deliver them more quickly, more efficiently, in a more cost-effective way and potentially in a way that reduces carbon impact as well.

He added that they have been looking at road expansion projects, hydro projects, investments in human capital, digital economy, wireless businesses and new brands such as the rum sector.

According to Bennett, there is a lot to take away from this visit and follow-up on. He added that they are similarly hoping to facilitate a similar engagement for a Guyanese business delegation in the UK sometime in the future.

Meanwhile, British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller expressed hope that these and other UK businesses can invest here and partner with Guyanese companies to make a difference in the local economy.

“The UK has a wealth of expertise in many, many different sectors… The UK is very keen to see opportunities where we can partner with Guyana to really see the economic growth happen and really make a difference in the lives of all Guyanese. So, it’s a really exciting time,” she noted.

The British envoy went on to reassure that this visit by the Trade Mission is more than just “warm words” and will actually yield tangible investments. She added that most, if not all of the representatives have indicated their intent to return to Guyana in furtherance of business opportunities.

“This is a preliminary [visit]. It’s about getting to know people, developing those partnerships. What’s been really great is that they’re meeting Government officials, meeting Private Sector. The GCCI is doing an amazing job finding businesses that we could potentially partner with. So, it’s much more than warm words. This will turn into businesses that will happen here in Guyana,” High Commissioner Miller stressed.

Adding to this, GCCI President Timothy Tucker welcomed the interests expressed for potential foreign direct investments in Guyana. He pointed out that the calibre and types of businesses on this Trade Mission demonstrates that Guyana is not just a place for oil and gas.

He outlined that important among this group is Signature Litigation, a leading dispute firm. This type of service, Tucker explained, is highly needed especially now with Guyana in an oil and gas era, forging business with international companies, which would potentially end up in disputes.

“…Not that we want our companies to be in dispute but, of course, these things arise. And of course, Government has been looking at the Arbitration Bill over the years… This not the first incoming delegation that have dealt with the Chamber when it comes to arbitration. The mandate of the Chamber, actually the Constitution, says that GCCI can act as an arbitrator. So, all of those things we’ve been in communication with [The Caribbean Council] to strengthen our capacity,” the GCCI Head asserted.

In fact, to further strengthen ties, GCCI and The Caribbean Council during Wednesday’s press conference signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for future collaboration between the two organisations.

Moreover, representative of Signature, Counsel Bernhard Maier spoke about the vast need for arbitration services in Guyana not just at the Private Sector level but also at a State-level.

The representatives from the Scottish headquartered Woolard & Henry Ltd talked about potentially setting up a basalt and glass fibre plant in Guyana to cater for the massive infrastructure growth by replacing steel with basalt materials. He said there has been positive response to this.

Another company that also saw success in its discussions so far is Dar Group, which specialises in engineering, designing and project management services. Managing Director Andrew Loudon said there is vast opportunities to tap into with Government’s Silica City project.

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