President Dr Irfaan Ali has revealed that his government is currently considering a financial instrument to integrate the Guyanese diaspora into its national development agenda through investments here.
“With the emerging oil and gas sector and the kind of investments we are making not only to strengthen the tradition sectors but also to open up new areas and new opportunities, we are ‘ n see great potential for the diaspora to bring back their capital resources here. For a matter of fact, we are now discussing financial instruments through which we can encompass all categories and levels of the diaspora and integrate them into the development of our country, ”he announced during an appearance on an online program hosted by the US. Guyanese Radio Broadcaster, Farook Juman.
According to the Head of State, the diaspora has always played an integral role in Guyana’s development and now, his administration wants to nurture this in order to attract more investments.
The president went on to acknowledge the role of the Guyanese community abroad after the March 2020 General and Regional elections when the country’s democracy was undermined. He also noted that the diaspora has also played a key role in supporting the Guyana economy over the years through payments and visits here.
“So, in my view, the diaspora has always been an integral part of the development and development of our country,” Ali argued on the online program with extensive foreign reach.
However, even as the government is currently refining a framework to specifically cater for the diaspora, President Ali outlined that it is important to recognize that those willing to invest here are familiar with the specific service – whether public or private sector.
“We have to make sure we strengthen our systems and improve our systems. We are improving our education system and we are moving towards more international standards so that the movement, the decision to move [investments here] becomes easier because these are some of the critical questions that people in the diaspora ask… You have part-time investors who come to invest their resources and go back. But when you come back more permanently, you have safety issues, healthcare issues, education, port services, government services – these are also vital issues of interest to the diaspora and here are the areas that we are targeting and are investing in to improve in order to improve it and to ensure that we create an enabling environment, ”the Head of State noted.
In addition, he highlighted that there is a wide range of investment opportunities beyond the petroleum industry available in Guyana that can be exploited. As such, he urged diaspora investors to explore these.
“You cannot understand the opportunities of third hand or second hand. You have to come here. You have to do your research; you have to look at the areas that the country is moving towards. You have to look at the opportunities and then plan your own route. So the government can only create that enabling environment and that’s what we do, ”the President asserted.