Guyana’s large diaspora an asset to country’s transformation
Guyana’s Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud
Guyana’s Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud

-says Foreign Secretary

WITH United States-based business magazine, Forbes, reporting that Guyana has the largest diaspora population in the world, Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud has said that this is a “resource” that can accelerate and support the One-Guyana initiative.

According to Forbes, Guyana’s diaspora population stands at 36.4 per cent.

“Out of all sovereign countries with at least 750,000 inhabitants, Caribbean nation, Guyana, had the biggest share of its native-born population, 36.4 per cent living abroad,” the publication related.

Persaud, in an invited comment on Sunday, recalled the mass migrations of 1970s and 80s due to economic degradation and political oppression.

“It’s an established fact that the global Guyanese diaspora is large, and immigration started in 1980s/1970s, where we had economic stagnation and political degradation and a lot of persons fled the country or was forced to leave the country to all parts of North America, the Caribbean, neighboring countries, Africa, Europe, all around, and that is the reason why we have such a dense diaspora population.”

However, in recent times many Guyanese in the diaspora have signaled their interest in returning to Guyana, Persaud said.

“We have seen in recent times, especially in the immediate period where there is now a reverse or which I call inward migration, where a lot of persons in the diaspora, they want to return to Guyana to be a part of the economic transformation,” he said.

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Persaud is among those leading the government’s diaspora engagement efforts.

“We see that there is a lot of interest by non-nationals, too, to participate and be in Guyana which is a different issue that has to be managed differently,” he said before asking,” How do we utilise and tap into this large diaspora?”

According to Persaud, the government has made it a priority to engage the Guyanese diaspora on capital, human resources, network, and expertise in the evolving sectors in Guyana.

“So, for us, its tapping this and converting this huge diaspora into a resource to accelerate and support the One-Guyana initiative of the president and also to hold trust, to transform and make our country stable and prosperous,” he added.

In August of this year, President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, engaged Guyanese living in Trinidad and Tobago (TT) and urged them to return home.

The president, during that engagement, emphasised that Guyana has one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Some areas of interest that the Guyanese diaspora can work and invest in are agriculture, tourism, oil and gas, and construction, the Head-of-State had said.

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