President of the American Chamber of Commerce of Guyana (AMCHAM) Zulfikar Ally urged a gathering in the United States to come back home and invest in what they do best or fulfil a need that they see currently existing in Guyana.
Ally was at the time speaking at a business meeting and reception in New York on Monday.
He informed the gathering that the mission of AMCHAM is to promote trade and commerce between Guyanese and American companies with their specific mandate being the representing of US business interests in the Guyanese market.
“We recognise that Guyanese companies face challenges in keeping up with the standard and pace of the global business environment due to a number of constraints including technology, financing, availability of skilled labour, high energy and other importation costs, to name a few, and as such, AMCHAM supports initiatives that help to overcome these hurdles,” he explained.
He noted that these include initiatives aimed at building capacity, connecting venture capitalists with businesses seeking capital for growth, expansion or improvements and at advocating for transformation or optimisation, as the case may be, of systems which reduce the bureaucracy associated with conducting business in Guyana.
AMCHAM Guyana envisions itself as the leading, influential voice that drives a business-friendly policy in Guyana. Ally said that they are focused on playing their role in fostering an enabling business environment in which both investors and Guyanese companies can maximise value and enjoy the gains which flow from their investments.
He noted that since the organisation was formed, they have interacted with numerous companies, many of which are in the process of establishing themselves in Guyana. The organisation has served as an information hub to companies and has guided them throughout the process and through the linkages AMCHAM has formed in order to make this process more efficient for the investor.
“What I can guarantee is the full support of the chamber if you choose to invest in Guyana and become a member. Our members support each other, and we use our network and our voice to ensure no business is fighting its own battles. We are here to support you as you conduct business in [a] manner that is sound, professional and adds value to the US-Guyana trade and business relationship, and to the country’s development,” he assured.
He said that with the current preparations for first oil in 2020 as well as what is to come post first oil are reasons enough to come back and invest across all spectrums.
He further informed that with the dawn of a new era comes new public investments, despite the Government of the day, resulting in large public and social infrastructure projects, health, education and transportation improvement projects.
“Lessons learnt from oil-dependent economies have served to guide nations in the direction they take at this very critical juncture of development, that is, the transition into an oil economy. The major stakeholders in Guyana, as well as AMCHAM Guyana Recognisance Fund, is of paramount importance to reduce the economy’s dependency on oil revenues through secure investments and diversification,” Ally said.
The investment climate, he noted, is ripe for non-traditional industries and services since there are tax concessions available through the laws of Guyana and is mandated through the Guyana Office for Investment GOINVEST.
“If you ask us what are some of the business opportunities that exist in Guyana today, we will tell you they reside in almost every sector. From providing goods and services including housing facilities for the growing expat community, financial and accounting services, provision of equipment and advisory services and the list goes one,” he added.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Guyana, known as AMCHAM Guyana, was launched in August 2018 with a Board of Directors comprising of 17 members.
These members comprise of some of the largest corporations in Guyana.