By Vishani Ragobeer
The government led by Irfaan Ali is considering investments from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to help achieve the country’s development agenda and in doing so has showcased Guyana as a new strategic partner for the UAE.
During a short press conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where a global exhibition is being held, President Dr Irfaan Ali told reporters and local officials in Dubai that Guyana has “enormous potential” with its abundant natural resources to meet national and international needs.
“… This potential would remain enormous if we did not implement the kind of programs and policies that would stimulate this potential,” he said. And it is for this reason, the head of state explained that Guyana spoke about the myriad of investment opportunities and incentives available.
These investments are available to all high-quality investors, but President Ali said there is a particular interest in cooperating with the UAE since the country has already proven that it can competently exploit its wealth of resources. natural resources and transform its economy.
For context, the United Arab Emirates have significant oil reserves like Guyana, but they have strived to diversify their economy by using innovative technologies to develop specialized services. The United Arab Emirates have since been able to transform into one of the richest countries in the world. And, President Ali said the UAE can share their experiences as Guyana now seeks to use oil wealth to similarly transform its economy.
“… This is where the bilateral experience remains important,” he said.
It’s not that Guyana is seeking investment from the UAE government and the private sector only, however. In fact, President Ali says Guyana can also provide opportunities for the UAE.
The United Arab Emirates are positioned in the Middle East while Guyana is more in South America. President Ali, however, said: “(The United Arab Emirates) can now look to South America and see a new strategic partner.
He explained that Guyana’s position in South America allows access to Brazil and Suriname for example, while the country is well connected to the Caribbean.
It’s also important to note that the president said Guyana’s agricultural prowess can help ensure that potential food security challenges in the UAE can be mitigated.
“Let’s see how Guyana can support your food security agenda and that of the region, by matching your resources, your investments with the land and this is the kind of visionary approach we want to create moving forward.” said Dr Ali.
Meanwhile, Dr Ali also assured potential investors that Guyana’s long-standing challenges of high energy costs and inadequate infrastructure are all being resolved. These challenges, he noted, have discouraged investments in the past.
Once these challenges were overcome, however, he said the way would be clear for increased bilateral and private cooperation and engagement.
Meanwhile, Senior Minister in the President’s Office for Finance Dr Ashni Singh and Minister of Tourism, Industry and Trade Oneidge Walrond pointed out that there are several attractive areas for the investment.
Dr Singh said these include the energy sector, tourism, information and communications technology including business process outsourcing, agribusiness and agribusiness. .
Meanwhile, Minister Walrond expanded on the tourism and hospitality opportunities available, indicating that even in the midst of the pandemic, Guyana has had an excessive demand for quality hotel rooms.