Linden youth leaders call for more business investment
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Some of the members of the Linden Youth Leaders pose with Minister of Business Dominic Basking ( first right) and Mayor of Linden Carwyn Holland also right
Some of the members of the Linden Youth Leaders pose with Minister of Business Dominic Basking ( first right) and Mayor of Linden Carwyn Holland also right

 

IN an effort to curb the high unemployment rate in the mining town by selling Linden to potential and established investors, the young and buzzing youth group, Linden Youth Leaders is taking part in several initiatives to educate the masses on the importance of investment for the growth of Linden’s economy. The latest of these initiatives was a three-day investment forum which saw the participation of several investors in and out of Linden as well as the Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin, Mayor of Linden Carwyn Holland, President of the Linden Chamber of Commerce Kevin De Young, Investment Specialist of Linden Enterprise Network, Walt Glasgow and Wayne Barrow of Interweave Solutions Guyana.
Executive member of Linden Youth Leaders. Aqilah Sheperd, highlighted the need for investment in Linden and most importantly for new investments and not just a replica of what is already available. “There are still fields of businesses that have not been explored to its full capacity in Linden, and there are numerous individuals who still remain unemployed, hence there is a dire need of investment in new business,” Shepherd pointed out.
Touching on the reality that investors may cringe at the thought of investing in a small hinterland town, Sheperd disclosed the many benefits of doing so. “There are many skilled and qualified youths who are unemployed so the work force is there, there is cheap electricity and availability of land,” she said.
If these investors take up the challenge, then Linden’s economy will now be diversified, the tourism sector will grow, more money will be circulating and the standard of living will increase.
Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin also highlighted the need for more investment in Linden and the many benefits of doing so, given Linden’s geographical location. “The region certainly has a geographical centrality, it connects with almost every other region in this country and therefore it very well could be the economic hub that controls the national economy and it is something that you can aspire to,” Gaskin posited
Gaskin said that it is not difficult for Linden to become the economic gearbox of the country but the authorities need to attract such investments by guaranteeing that investors make profits. “You need to examine what it is that Linden has that will make it attractive to investors. You need to identify those strengths and what it is you have that can turn into a profitable venture. It could be natural resources, human resources….whatever it is you need to identify it and you need to package it in the form of investment opportunities.”
Challenges
Mayor of Linden Carwyn Holland revealed that some investors expressed interest in setting up businesses in Linden but are stunned by the bureaucracy of the process and the many unrealistic rules.
“There are several overseas Guyanese who want to invest in Linden and they want an easier way. Someone said she wants to open a 20 room hotel in Linden but when they approached Go Invest, they said that they didn’t reach the criteria so for them that is a big setback and that is something they have been saving their monies for,” Holland contended. He said that Linden was in dire need of those investors as the economy was struggling.
He revealed that the municipality was in the process of twinning with developed cities such as Newark and Chonqing to bring investment to Linden and other forms of development.
President of the Linden Chamber of Commerce Kevin Deyoung expressed excitement on what was to come from the twinning of Linden. He encouraged the youths to network and to gather the much needed information in preparation for what is to come. De Young affirmed that it was time for Lindeners to change their way of thinking that Linden was a depressed community. “For us to move forward, Lindeners need to change their way of thinking and to change the perspective of ourselves first before we can encourage foreign investors to look at us differently,” he said
Produce our own
Walt Glasgow of Linden Enterprise Network said that one of the issues with Linden’s economy was that everything was imported and nothing was produced locally. He contended that that needed to change if Linden’s economy was to grow and foreign investors attracted. He concluded that Linden was in an economic quagmire because of its dependency. “Let us start an economic revolution. First of all we need to encourage production and once we get that going here we first eat what we produce then move on to the sales market,” posited Glasgow.
The second day of the forum saw an agro processing fair with several locally produced items on display. Some of the Linden businesses that had products on display were: Chanzars Enterprise with local seasonings and spices and its competitor House of Flavour. Guyana Marketing Corporation also exhibited its local products. Deputy Mayor of Linden Waneka Arindell in a short address encouraged young people to open their minds and initiate creative ideas to commence their own agro processing businesses. The forum ended with a family cohesion day. Director of Youth Mrs. Melissa Carmichael officially launched the youth group and promised to work closely with them to ensure its success in the quest to boost Linden’s economy.

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