“We need not be poor again” ….President charges diaspora to return home and invest

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President David Granger delivering his address at the event

REITERATING that the country can no longer sustain itself with its traditional export earners, President David has urged the diaspora in the United States to return home and invest in Guyana.“We need not be poor again,” the President told a large gathering at Guyana’s 50th Independence Anniversary State Dinner held at the Sheraton Hotel, Manhattan, New York on Saturday night.

He charged investors to have confidence in Guyana while being creative, so that this country can prosper as it should. He said investments by foreign countries and entities are welcomed but what is needed more than ever are indigenous Guyanese businesses.

“It is better to have Guyanese companies. You can invest and prosper as readily as foreigners. You are family, please,” he told the attendees of the State dinner. Guyana and Guyanese alike, the President said, are proud of its achievements over the years and will continue to work to enhance the country’s image.

A section of the gathering at the State dinner last Saturday night
A section of the gathering at the State dinner last Saturday night

In reflecting on the achievements, President Granger spoke of advancements in the housing sector, water, drainage and irrigation, agriculture and education.

“We Guyanese must continue to pursue a path to provide a good life for our people,” the Guyanese leader stated, while noting that Guyana needs investment to start up its engine of growth.

He said Guyanese living in the diaspora can establish companies here, noting that “we need to develop our industry and reduce reliance on the six sisters… we have to move along the chain of production.”

President Granger said it is time Guyana adds more value to its products and to do so there must be innovation. However, he stressed that whatever the investment may be, it must be done in accordance with the standards of a ‘green economy’.

Guyana is divided into two parts said President Granger, “half in North America and half in South America.” As such, he urged the diaspora to do more. “…Exploit our abundant human resources and natural assets.”

“A better life is in Guyana… we can do more to exploit the reservoir of talent and capital here in the diaspora,” the President stated.

He said the celebration of 50 years of Independence is an opportunity for Guyanese to reflect with the aim of enhancing the future. “Our eyes must remain set on the prize,” he said, while noting that the prospects of a prosperous economy are good.

INTEGRAL PART
The diaspora is an integral part of Guyana, emotionally, economically and experientially.
“The diaspora must be involved in Guyana’s development; it must be developed for all of us but by all of us. We are happy diaspora is part of the change that is taking place in our motherland,” said President Granger.

He called on Guyanese to embrace each other so as to embark on a path of development that will empower all to overcome the challenges that exist.
Meanwhile, President Granger reaffirmed Guyana’s position on the border controversy with Venezuela. He said Guyana maintains that the only way to end the controversy is to go to the International Court of Justice.

Guyana and Venezuela have been at odds over the 1899 Arbitral Tribunal Award and President Granger said “We cannot spend the next 50 years in the shadow of a territorial threat and we are asking the Secretary General of the United Nations to bring this claim to an end. Let’s go to court and settle it,” he said.

He said Guyana is the biggest and most bountiful Caricom country and has much to offer, and as such, all of Guyana’s national treasures must be preserved.

Those national treasures the President said, include the country’s national animals. President Granger called on all Guyanese to desist from using the national animals as food for they can contribute significantly to the country’s economic and tourism development.

“These giants do not belong in Pepperpot and Souse,” President Granger said to loud applause as he emphasised the need to preserve that which is unique to Guyana.

“These giants are worth more alive than dead,” the President added while charging Guyanese to “be careful with wild meat parties”.

Strategically, President Granger pitched another call to the Guyanese Diaspora to return to Guyana to invest. He said Guyana can no longer afford to sustain itself by the use of the ‘six sisters’. He said rice, sugar, bauxite, gold, timber and fish are not sufficient during this era to move the economy to where it ought to be.

“We need not be poor again,” the President said as he charged investors to have confidence in Guyana while being creative so that Guyana can proper as it should. He said investments by foreign countries and entities are welcomed but what is needed more than ever are indigenous Guyanese businesses.