Minister of Business with the responsibility for Tourism, Dominic Gaskin recently said that “Guyana is ready for business”. Lending support to the Minister’s statement is the Chief Executive Officer for the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), Owen Verway.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for GO-Invest, Owen Verway
Verway in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA) said that many businesses have expressed interest in investing in Guyana. He noted that the agency will be more proactive on the international scene promoting the opportunities for investments, while ensuring that the country and the agency attract the right types of investments for Guyana.
In 2017, the investment portfolio of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) will be restructured to ensure greater diversification within the economy. There will be additional focus on the tourism, agriculture, and light manufacturing sectors as the agency will target $139.8B in investments.
Light manufacturing is one such area that the GO-Invest is looking at, Verway said that there are numerous activities that will support the agriculture sector and all the other activities that are encompassing it. The GO-Invest plans to work on those areas that will lend to promotion towards achieving the target that was set out for the agency in the 2017 Budget, Verway explained.
GO-Invest will also be attracting investment in the fruits and vegetables sector which is described as “non-traditional produce”. Verway pointed out that due to Guyana’s large land mass which is underutilised, persons are still interested in investing in the rice sector. He explained that the “Brazilians and others are very much interested, the rice, soya bean and corn is still of interest to investors that are looking at large scale operations”.
Go-Invest is expected to see significant investments in the coconut industry this year, Verway pointed out that most of the large investments are prepared and ready to go. However, the specification of the land and mobilising the seed crop is a challenge right now, “there is not sufficient amount of the nuts to be planted”, Verway said. He added that the Trinidadian Market imports many Guyanese products from the local market but there is not enough demand to supply that market.
The CEO said that when it comes to investments, it not just having a target to achieve but conducting due diligence on the investments and investors. Understanding what it is and ensuring that there is some mutual benefits for all the parties that are involved in the investment.