Strategic Partnership
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PRESIDENT Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has urged entrepreneurs and members of the business community to enter into partnerships in order to position themselves strategically to take advantage of growing opportunities. This call could not have come at a better time when the country is experiencing a wave of new investment opportunities due in part to the oil and gas sector, but also due to the strategic and visionary thinking of the PPP/C’s leadership. Guyana is at a stage where there are unlimited opportunities for business to grow and flourish.  It is now for the business community to seize the moment and take advantage of the opportunities available both in the oil and the non-oil sectors of the economy.

Guyana is ripe for doing business. The country has seen a significant increase in foreign direct investment (FDI), which grew 10-fold over the past five years, exceeding $US2billion. Over the past few years, the country has experienced rapid and unfettered growth and is now one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

Given such exponential levels of growth, the potential for new investments is boundless. There are still a number of untapped areas of investment opportunities, especially in fields such as agriculture and agro-processing, tourism, ICT, energy, mining, forestry and in the growing service sector.

The government, for its part, is putting the necessary measures in place to make it easier to do business in the country. The country is on the cusp of unimaginable wealth and it is for the private sector to seek out new and creative ways to tap into this new wealth potential.

As pointed out by President Ali, there is a role for small businesses to take advantage of business opportunities, but they have to come up with new and creative ways of doing so. The government for its part is coming up with some bold, new initiatives to establish new growth poles. Only recently President Ali announced the establishment of a new secondary city, Silica City, on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway. Silica City is the brainchild of President Ali when he held the position of Minister of Housing and Water some years ago and speaks well of his forward-looking and visionary thinking. It is that capacity to think big that will catapult this country of ours to higher levels of development. We have already graduated to middle-income status and with such strategic thinking as envisioned by our President, the sky is literally our limit.

The President, as indeed all Guyanese, is excited over this development which, in the words of the President, will provide opportunities that will be mind-blowing. According to the President, the response by investors is tremendous and has reached a point of oversubscription insofar as investor interest is concerned. This bodes well for the future development of Guyana, especially in the area of job creation. The importance of moving farther away from the coastal region to higher ground has now become something of a national imperative, given the impact of climate change and its potential for rising sea levels. And while the development of a secondary town on the Linden Highway is a welcome development and may seem a bit down the road, it is not too early for investors to start strategising on how to seize the moment in this exciting stage of our development. This will be greatly facilitated with cheaper energy and the search for new markets for our exports.

Local investors have an opportunity to position themselves to benefit from this mind-blowing opportunity. Many of the new projects require an injection of capital which small businesses may have difficulty in sourcing at an individual level. By forming partnerships with other businesses, they could be better able to raise investment capital and take advantage of greater economies of scale, which would give them an edge in an increasingly competitive business environment.

The way to development is to turn savings into capital formation and investment. The investment climate in the country has never been better. The local banking system is doing well as could be seen from their annual turnover and balance sheets. More people are taking advantage of the banking system, which is a good indicator of economic expansion.

The government is creating the environment for local manufacturers to benefit from all investment opportunities. The oil and gas sector has triggered a new wave of investments and the necessary framework has been put in place for the local business community to take maximum advantage by way of local content. Indeed, it is in the country’s best interest for locals to benefit optimally from the proceeds of oil and gas.

For this to happen, there is need for creative thinking on the part of the local business and to seek ways of developing strategic partnerships. There is need to move away from old ways of thinking to one that sees opportunities in working with each other, rather than working against each other.

President Ali has thrown out the challenge to the local business community to come up with new thinking on the way forward. Guyana is at an exciting stage in its national development, thanks to visionary leadership of the PPP/C administration.

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