Guyana becoming a developed country is not merely an optimistic hope, but a doable and achievable reality, because Government’s facilitation of Private Sector investments can propel this nation into First World status.
Before the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration assumed the primary executive office in the land in October of 1992, Guyana was rated on international developmental indices as being on par with Haiti. Graphed during the People’s National Congress (PNC) Administration as the least developed nation in the world, with a crippling debt burden, Guyana’s development under the astute leadership provided by successive PPP/C Presidents was rapid.
After a relatively short time span of approximately two decades, Guyana was being recognised by the world as a middle-income developing country, and described by Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines as “The only shining star in the Caribbean”.
The popular prognosis heralded great things for this nation, because the focus of the PPP/C Administrations – then and now – is to make Guyana a modern and developed country; and Guyana had indeed been inexorably moving from a middle-income developing country to becoming, in the not-too-distant future, a developed country.
However, for the country to achieve such a status, it has to be a joint effort by all stakeholders working in conjunction and cooperation with Government. There have been, in the past, multiple successful partnerships between the Government, Private Sector, and other stakeholders to work together to create of Guyana a modern society.
The transformation of the national socio-economic landscape has not been easy, because there are elements of negativity who are intent on stymieing every developmental initiative.
Regrettably, this progressive developmental paradigm took a relentless and rapid retrogression – in every sector – with the advent of another PNC-led Government in 2015.
Post-2015 elections, a relentless reversal of Guyana’s developmental trajectory, under the coalition Government administration brought this country to an almost bankrupt state, with a debt burden of billions of dollars.
One of the worst disincentives to private investment in Guyana is the high energy costs, which send overheads skyrocketing, especially in the manufacturing sector; and the PPP/C Government had attempted to address this problem through hydropower, but had reached the usual developmental roadblocks from the PNC-led A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Opposition, which used every armament in their arsenal to shoot down the project.
It is a proven fact that not having cheap energy is one of the most prohibitive factors that have impeded Guyana’s manufacturing sector from surging.
However, despite the setback with the Amaila Falls Hydro Project, recently-elected President Irfaan Ali is adamant that the pursuit of alternative energy would be prioritized, so that Government can provide cheap energy for the development of a strong industrial manufacturing sector and a strong processing sector. With a progressing agricultural sector that can easily develop an agro-industrial complex, Guyana is once again climbing global developmental graphs.
During the 2020 Budget debates, various Government Members of Parliament (MPs) outlined future transformative plans geared at making the dream of taking Guyana from a middle-income developing country to a developed country, and one could only hope that the joint Opposition would allow good sense and patriotism to prevail over self-centred agendas, to work along on these visionary plans and projects that would benefit all Guyanese and create of this country not only “the only shining star of the Caribbean”, but the shining star of the world.
Successive PPP/C Governments have always held out an outstretched hand to the Opposition and all stakeholders in the nation, with scant success of cooperation from the joint Opposition; and history will record their negative contributions to the development of this nation. The ball is in the Opposition’s court.