–President Ali says long-term vision of private sector integral to crafting gov’t policies
IN keeping with the need for innovation amidst a volatile global economy, Pritipaul Singh Investments Inc. has invested US$75 million (over G$16B) in retrofitting and expanding its Providence, East Bank Demerara (EBD) location to a state-of-the-art facility, with greater production capacity.
This company is one of the largest, modernised and most diversified fish and shrimp-processing producers in Guyana. Its operations consist of several well-developed entities which aid in the harvesting, processing, packaging and storage of seafood products.
Those entities include the fleet, shrimp and fish-discharging, shrimp-processing plant, fish plant, smoked-fish plant, plate freezing, fish packaging, holding room, quality assurance, warehousing, general stores, dry docking, machine shop, general maintenance, the ice plants and general office.
The company, since its establishment in 1999, operated at McDoom alone, on the lower East Bank, until it acquired its second production plant by purchasing the former Georgetown Seafoods and Trading Company’s assets at Providence.
According to a statement from the Office of the President, both facilities were inspected by President Dr. Irfaan Ali during a tour on Monday.
During his tour of the Providence facility, the President was informed about the ongoing expansionary work, which is expected to create additional jobs.
“What’s happening at Providence, we have to consolidate Pritipaul Singh Investments; we are moving our operations, as we have two locations. Instead of having two locations, we are consolidating the business. Because what is happening in the world environment, because of economic situation, and to become more profitable it is wiser to consolidate the business and maximise our efficiency,” the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Pritipaul Singh Snr. said.
The businessman said the facility at Providence, after being retrofitted, will have the capacity to take up the challenges of the fishing sector, whether aquaculture or traditional fisheries. He said, too, that his company will also be instrumental in the marketing, production and exporting of fish.
Long-term goals and visions like those which were outlined by Singh are considered paramount in the crafting of policies and implementation of programmes which will facilitate growth, President Ali said.
The Head of State said that the relationship between the private sector and the government is synergetic, and extremely important to the overall development of Guyana.
“I think that it’s necessary to appreciate what happens in the sector. I’m also very happy to hear of the long-term plans of Pritipaul Singh Investments, not only in wild catch, but looking at aquaculture. The number of persons employed here is enormous; his contribution to the economy definitely is very enormous, without a doubt,” the President said.
Since being elected to office in August 2020, President Ali has maintained that all sectors, including fishery, would be bolstered.
It was reported recently that the “rough tides” of 2020 were not enough to restrict progress in the fishing industry, which remained resilient throughout the year, and even managed to secure revenue of in excess of $16 billion.
Ecological challenges compounded by a protracted electoral process and a global pandemic made last year no easy one for stakeholders in the fishing industry, but, in the end, the traditional aspect of this industry raked in $16,033,405,740, while aquaculture mustered $207,251,016.
President Ali had an opportunity, during his guided tour, to see through the eyes of an investor how operations in this sector have been driving growth.
“I thought it necessary today to come out and to visit one of our largest production facilities, in terms of our fishery sector, and the products they export. It was a delight and a great pleasure to visit Pritipaul Investments. What I’ve learned today is the magnitude of this investment; the size of the sector itself, and opportunities that lie within the sector,” the Head of State said.
President Ali noted, too, that it was imperative that he visited the facility to gain a better understanding of its processes and functions.
The President, over the next few weeks, plans to visit more processing facilities to obtain information for the crafting of programmes and policies to respond to the needs of operators.