“Guyana needs all hands on deck” – President

“Guyana needs all hands on deck” – President


…urges Diaspora in Canada to return home and invest

(Guyana Times) President Dr Irfaan Ali is encouraging Guyanese in Canada to return home and start up investments in the local economy, with assurances of Government’s commitment in fostering a stable economic environment.

This position was shared during his virtual feature address at the Guyanese Republic Jubilee Awards Ceremony and Presentation, organised by the Guyana Consulate in Canada on Sunday evening.
He noted that Guyana can only become more resilient through these efforts and the diaspora possess skills and resources that will accelerate such development. While some may be afraid of the risks, he shared that this element is attached to every financial or business decision.

“I want to encourage you to play your part in the transformative process which is taking place. Guyana needs all hands-on deck, including the members of the Diaspora who possess the skills and the resources which are needed to fulfill our ambitions over the next ten years…Do not doubt yourself. In investment, there is an element of risk. In business, there is an element of risk. In moving from one state to another state, there is an element of risk. In moving from one country to another country, there is an element of risk,” the President expressed.
Foreign Affairs Minister Hugh Todd
He acknowleged that there are areas in which the Government needs to improve in order to create a conducive atmosphere for growth. This, he said, should not be used as an excuse or deter anyone from investing.

“We acknowledge there are areas in which we have to improve; to make you comfortable in an environment in which you’re accustomed to, speed at which you get service, and quality of service. We are not hiding from these things. These are things that we have to fix and we’re fixing. But do not use them as an excuse that will keep you away from coming. We are in this together. We want you to come. We are waiting on your arrival. We know you are committed; we know you have love for country, take the bold step.”

The Head of State envisioned Guyana with a modern, robust, diversified and resilient economy capable of delivering economic prosperity. This would later contribute to higher levels of employment and improvement in the quality of life.
While speaking about the oil sector and the tremendous propulsion it will stir, he reminded that traditional sectors such as rice, sugar, forestry, bauxite and gold mining are important to “wealth creation, employment generation and income distribution”.
He detailed, “We intend to modernize and to grow these sectors. As you have seen, we are committed to reviving the sugar industry but in a smarter manner by moving production up the value-chain and by diversifying the industry itself. A modern economy which is capable of rebounding from internal and external shocks requires transformative infrastructure. We have begun to roll out a massive transformative infrastructure development agenda.”
He pointed towards the developmental plans in place, including: the completion of the East Coast Demerara Highway; the resurfacing of the East Coast Railway Embankment from Sheriff Street to Enmore; the remodelling of the Linden to Lethem Highway and work on the Linden to Mabura Hill section. The President also pointed to the construction of a road link between Ogle and Diamond, the development of a four-lane highway between Georgetown and Timehri, a road link between Parika and Rockstone, and a new high-span bridge across the Demerara River, which he estimates will be completed before the end of 2024.
The Head of State added that a deep water habour, a new international airport at Lethem, industrial parks and free-trade zones will integrate Guyana’s economy with more powerful markets and convert the country into a major economic hub in the Western Hemisphere.
Enhanced relationship
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation, Hugh Todd shared that the role of diaspora communities in the development in their home country is notable around the world.
“This well researched, evidence based and strategic approach to Diaspora engagement has helped to ensure that the concept is factored into the economic and social development plans of countries world over, Guyana being no exception. The available skills, expertise, and resources that the Diaspora possesses, are of extreme importance and can only be suitably utilised through a structured approach to our interactions with Guyanese nationals around the world,” Todd noted.
He pledged commitment on Guyana’s end to ensure a better relationship with the diaspora community, and assisting potential investors with their proposals.
“I believe that it is now opportune that we prioritise investment by the Diaspora as a key element to our Government’s plan for long-term economic development. The Government of Guyana is committed to strengthening the relationship with our nationals living abroad to assist interested investors in developing and implementing their business ideas at home.”
He added, “The Government sees a role for Diaspora investment not only in the new oil and gas sector, but also in the traditional sectors of the Guyanese economy, those sectors that have always been the pillars of our economic activity and national development.” (G12)

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