Guyana’s doors open for transformative investments – Pres Ali tells Saudi investors

– country can tap into Saudi Fund for Development – Head of investment delegation

Making it clear that Guyana’s doors are open for investments that are of a transformative nature and will benefit the people of Guyana, President Dr Irfaan Ali on Saturday headlined a Guyana-Saudi Arabia investment forum.

President Dr Irfaan Ali during the investor forum1006

The Guyana-Saudi Arabia Investment Engagement was held in the dome of the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Saturday. While President Ali led a team of his Cabinet Ministers and agency heads, the more than 60-person Saudi Arabian investor delegation was led by Deputy Minister for Investors Outreach, Badr Al Badr.
In his main address, President Ali stressed that his Government is ready to move the conversation forward. He noted that the presence of Al Badr and his team offers Guyana and the local private sector a chance to find partners and unlock Guyana’s full potential. He urged the private sector not to let the opportunity pass them by.

Deputy Minister for Investors outreach, Badr Al Badr

“Let me be very, very clear. This Government that I am in charge of, is not wedded to any preferential partner. Whether they are from East, West, North, South, North-East, North-West, or wherever. Our only objective is to get the best possible outcome for the people of this country because they deserve it. So, you are really pushing at open doors.”
“We cannot wait to catch up with anyone. If you want to be our partner, and you’re ready to be our partner, let us take the conversation forward. Let us not go in circular motions. Let us establish what is it we want to partner on and how we can support that partnership,” President Ali said.
Guyana established diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia in 2012. The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) Government has sought to strengthen those relations and one of the announcements coming out of Saturday’s investment forum, is that land will be made available for the construction of a Saudi Arabian embassy in Guyana.

A section of the Saudi Arabian delegation of investors

“Within the next quarter, we must have movement on this. We are ready. We are ready for you to have a permanent footprint here,” President Ali further said, adding that Guyana is also making progress in setting up an embassy of its own in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia
In his presentation to the attendees of the investment forum, Al Badr gave the various selling points of the investors that came with him. He noted Saudi Arabia’s expertise in areas ranging from oil and gas to construction, as well as the fact that these companies are backed by assets and capital.
According to Al Badr, partnering with these Saudi companies, who bring with them “a strong and proven set of capabilities and assets”, can help local companies to grow bigger, faster and with great profitability.
“Our companies can also bring you, a know-how, in the introduction of technologies and supplies needed for your transition to becoming a major oil producer and for doing this in a way that minimises emissions and in place, new technology like carbon capture, utilisation of storage. They also have valuable know-how in navigating the complexities of dealing with major oil companies, major constructions, major distributors, and major surface providers.”
“In addition, we have investors in Saudi Arabia who are now a major patron, internationally, including Government-backed funds such as public investment funds. And we also have the Saudi Fund for Development. I believe there are so many projects that can be tackled by these Saudi funds for development,” he also said, adding that the Saudi Export-Import bank was also present among their delegation.
When it comes to the Saudi Arabian Development Fund, President Ali has said that Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh has already been asked to engage with the Saudis on this. President Ali urged that a project be developed around the fund.
It was only in February that Prince Adel Ahmed al-Jubeir was in Guyana, with the intention of further strengthening ties between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Guyana. President Ali had hosted a working lunch for the Prince at State House.
The visiting Saudi Arabian Minister had led a delegation that included Counsellor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norah Mohammed Al Bassam; First Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Badr Abdullah Al Muaiqil; Secondary Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Naif Abdulaziz Alnuwaiser and three others.
Also in February, President Ali had hosted a meeting with another visiting team from Saudi Arabia at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, following the opening day of the inaugural International Energy Conference and Expo Guyana, which was held in Georgetown.