WITH Guyana positioned to become a hub for major investments, the government is keen on keeping its promise of allowing locals to benefit from the vast opportunities available here.
Reflective of this commitment is the fact that 65 per cent of the private investments made this year were from locals.
Speaking during a recent interview on Globespan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop said that even as the economy continues to grow, President Dr. Irfaan Ali, and, by extension, the government is committed to having Guyanese benefit from the investment opportunities that are available locally.
“So, when people think the foreigners are coming in and benefitting, I can say that 65 per cent of my signatures on investment opportunities this year through the Senior Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, have been local businesses,” Dr. Ramsaroop said.
“We’ve got another 10-20 per cent from CARICOM, which we are proud of, too, and then the rest come from the rest of the world. But it will change over time,” he added.
In March 2021, Guyanese-owned Cardinal Investments Inc. positioned itself to absorb the imminent opportunities by completing arrangements with Marriott International for the construction of a US$20 million Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, next to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
The agreement, which was signed by the company’s owners Roy and Denise Bassoo, cleared the way for the construction of the 140-room facility, which, when completed, will be the second Marriott hotel brand in Guyana.
The six-story hotel will be a one-minute drive from the entrance of the CJIA, and is expected to accommodate airline crews and staff, business personnel, diplomats, and other travellers.
The Go-Invest CEO further said that the government has been implementing systems to provide incentives to all investors, whether large or small. He reminded his audience that outlined in the government’s plans are opportunities for persons to become investors, and benefit from opportunities across several sectors.
“But what I want the smaller, middle-level businesses to know is that there are incentives no different than what we would give to large investors; you have to study the President’s plan, and how he outlines the initiatives.
“If you look at the first phase, it is significant infrastructure; the second phase is you bring energy. And if you look at, for example, the manufacturing industry, with cheaper energy coming to our shores in two-three years, you could now be able to have textile factories,” Dr. Ramsaroop reasoned.
In October, Guyanese merchant bank, Smart City Clearing Company Limited, facilitated a partnership between Guyanese-based engineering, procurement, and construction firm, Global Infrastructure Solutions Guyana Inc, and Undiome Global DWC LLC, an Emirati-owned company, for a US$5 million investment to develop a 20,000 square foot manufacturing facility here.
The facility is intended to produce biaxial voided slab technology in Guyana. The partnership marked the first manufacturing international joint-venture partnership and investment between Guyana and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Another local company, Arimu Investments, in November last joined other local investors who are set to benefit from Guyana’s vast opportunities for investment, with the construction of a $3 billion world-class hotel in the heart of Georgetown.
The indigenous company, which owns the Innovations America store, and has a stake in gold mining and real estate, will be looking to expand its horizons with the construction of an over 100-bedroom Sure Stay Plus Hotel, a franchise of the world-renowned Best Western Hotels and Resorts.
Even as the government continues to encourage local investors to benefit from the numerous opportunities, Dr. Ramsaroop said that systems have been implemented to train and equip Guyanese with the necessary tools to reap the maximum benefits of any sector.
He also noted that several private sector organisations like the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) are also offering free training sessions to prepare local investors to enter and grow in various sectors.
“There are a lot of training programmes that are being done; a lot of them are cost-free, and there are a lot of incentive programmes being given out for education. You have organisations like the GCCI that are running training sessions for free, so it’s not like the opportunities are not there,” Dr. Ramsaroop said.
He added: “There are so many opportunities that are being provided, that all it takes is for you to pick up the phone, and you can call the Chamber and say, ‘I want to get involved; I want some training.’ And, I promise you, that we will do everything we can to help you.”