Govt to push local Private Sector, Diaspora involvement in economic growth – Pres Ali

From right: President Dr Irfaan Ali, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, Prime Minister Mark Phillips and Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh at the stakeholders’ engagement

As Guyana continues to undergo unprecedented growth, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government is looking to push the increased involvement of the local Private Sector as well as the Diaspora in the expansion of the country’s economy.
This is according to President Dr Irfaan Ali during an engagement with key stakeholders of the local Private sector at State House on Thursday evening. The event – which was attended by Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, Prime Minister Mark Phillips and Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh – was organised to outline Government’s plans for “2023 and Beyond” and to also get feedback from stakeholders.

Key players in the local Private Sector attended Thursday’s consultation with top Government officials at State House

President Ali indicated that Government was currently working on a number of initiatives to help propel various sectors including forestry, insurance, construction and agriculture, among others. He disclosed that soon the Government would be rolling out specific ways in which the Private Sector could tap into the opportunities that were available.
“…You will hear some very innovative ideas in the coming weeks as to how we can get more of the local Private Sector and the Diaspora involve in the expansion of the economy; how you can deploy your capital, even outside of a banking system – how we can work on deploying that capital… [How they can] be more directly involved in the building out of the country and the opportunities that are coming our way,” the Head of State posited.
He explained that the engagement with key stakeholders was critical to ensuring that there was clarity on where the country was heading.
According to the Guyanese Leader, his Administration is building a country that will have macroeconomic stability, resilience and sustainability – all of which will ensure continuous growth and development.
“That is key! How do we, in the next eight years, lay the foundation that will build the economy that will perform in a world ‘2030 and Beyond’ that will be very much different from what we see today and still be able to compete globally and be a leader in a number of areas?”
According to President Ali, key to building Guyana as one of the strongest economies in the world was the capability of the Guyanese people – which he strongly believes in.
“…We have the fastest-growing economy with oil and gas. But if you take oil and gas out, we’re still the fifth fastest-growing economy.
“So, there are a number of areas that the future platform of this country will be built on: energy security, food security, climate services, ecological services, biological services, financial services, technological services, health services, manufacturing, agro-processing. Now, what is common in all of this service, but you cannot build a services industry with a human resource base that is inadequate and incomplete,” he stated.
To this end, the Head of State outlined that Government was making efforts to ensure that the right complement of human resources with the right skillsets is being created to support this objective.
This, he added, is reflected in measures taken to provide tertiary education opportunities through the GOAL initiative as well as the hosting of TVET training programmes. These are coupled with improved working conditions, such as salary increases, for the various public sector employees as well as continuous training to operate in a modernised economy.
Another major aspect of Government’s transformation is the enhancement of the country’s infrastructural landscape. The Head of State noted that with major bridge projects such as the new Demerara River crossing and the Corentyne River Bridge along with improved road networks across the country including the Linden-to-Lethem highway, opportunities for trade and collaboration with neighbouring countries as well as the South American and Caribbean regions will consequently open up.
“Our economy ‘2030 and Beyond’ will stand once we pursue this agenda diligently; once we are able to think maturely… and we have the good fortune of having many examples – around us, outside of us, within us – as to how easily you can get carried away and destroy the prospects of building a strong and resilient economy… We don’t want that at all.
“I want us to speak about how we can strengthen the banking sector, what is needed for the banking sector to deploy more capital?… It is not about the Government giving four, five, six tax incentives; that is not a budget. A budget has to be a visionary approach and undertaking in transforming a country… How are we going to build more consortiums around some of these transformative projects and in supporting the regional food hub? What are the binding constraints that need to be untangled, and how do we untangle that? Building this common platform and vision through which we approach the development and expansion of our country, this is what is key for us,” he asserted. (G8)