Guyana open to Saudi investment

GEORGETOWN – The President of Guyana, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, has extended an open invitation to investors of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to ‘invest now’, promising that Guyana is ready to remove bureaucratic hurdles.

“You are really pushing at open doors,” the President told the visiting team of Saudi Arabians while delivering the feature address at the opening of the Saudi Arabia – Guyana Investment Engagement on Saturday.

A 65-member strong Saudi delegation of private and public sector, led by Deputy Minister for Investors Outreach, Badr Al Badr was in attendance at the event.

“We cannot wait to catch up with anyone. If you are ready to be our partner … let us take the conversation forward,” he said.

President Ali added, “Let us not go in circular motion, let us establish what we want to partner on, and how we can secure that partnership.”

The president said while Guyana is open for investment, partnerships between the countries must be a ‘win-win’ situation for both states.

“We want to partner with you, we want to partner with the world, but you must understand that we also want to move quickly. We have an obligation to the people of this country to deliver to them as fast as we can.”

He also challenged Saudi Arabia to make money available to Guyana, from the Saudi Investment and Development Fund that could be used to invest in any project.

“Let us talk about how to establish the Fund here. With that money, we can start the process of pushing projects forward… I can assure you that we can get our technical people in a room with you, and we will not leave until we are finished with the project.”

The president however, made it clear that Guyana is not hooked on any ideological or superior partner, but on those that can give the country the best possible outcomes.

“This government that I am a part of is not wedded to any preferential partner, whether they are from east, west, north or south. Our only objective is to get the best possible outcome for the people of this country because they deserve it,” the president said.

Deputy Minister for Investors Outreach, Badr Al Badr assured of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to building stronger investment trade and business links between the middle eastern country and Guyana.

He noted that the country is interested in establishing a permanent presence in Guyana.

To this end, Ali noted that systems will be put in place to establish a permanent location in Guyana.  This country is also prepared to make lands available for the establishment of an embassy here, and a Saudi desk will be set up at the Ministry of Finance to help facilitate trade.

“We are prepared to make the land available for you to establish your embassy in this Region in Guyana, and I expect in the next quarter that we must have positive movement on this…We are ready for you to have your permanent footprint here.”

Guyana and Saudi Arabia established formal diplomatic relations on February 22, 2012.  (CMC)

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