Dear Editor,
The Guyana Finance and Investment Roundtable held on January 20, 2021, highlighted the need for continuous improvement in infrastructure and human resources to attract new investment. As the country seeks to capitalize on the development of oil and gas, companies in this sector are a vital investment portal.
Countries and companies far and wide are assessing Guyanese to see if they want to make the kinds of investments that will drive jobs and drive economic growth for the next few decades. Investors are keen to make their bid for the boom now underway but are keeping a close eye on risk and political stability.
The turbulent 2020 general elections eroded confidence in our institutions and drew widespread criticism from our neighbors and allies. Investors were paying attention. When assessing countries for investment, some of the most important areas are political stability and infrastructure. Sorry to say that Guyana has rarely done well on these fronts.
A favorable, stable business climate is more important now than ever before. As the world economy slowly recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, the need for energy is likely to increase with the market share of Guyanese oil. In less than a decade Guyana saw a foreign direct investment balloon from anemic US $ 270 million to over US $ 1.7 billion. This is real tangible wealth and welcome news to the thousands of Guyanese sellers, suppliers and businesses, which at the forefront were significant beneficiaries in the near and long term.
This type of investment can also be a gateway to so much more. Dollars pouring into hotels and real estate and restaurants will be essential to get us out of the COVID-19 economic crisis. Those jobs will create more wealth and more opportunities down the road as a generation of Guyanese see new opportunities here at home. Every dollar of oil we invest now in infrastructure or education helps to build that cycle and could help us attract investments in sectors far beyond oil and gas.
An attractive investment climate signals to the markets that Guyana is open for business. As we chart a new course as a nation producing oil and regional power, let us continue to call for good governance and smart investment of oil money to open the gates to more Guyanese wealth.

Donald Singh

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