Guyana becoming a developed country is not merely an optimistic hope, but a doable and achievable reality, because Government’s facilitation of investments can propel this nation into First World status.
This status was foreseeable when President Dr Irfaan Ali told a group of investors in London on Tuesday that while there is an abundance of opportunities in the country’s emerging petroleum sector, there are other lucrative industries. He is correct when he said that this country has always presented a wide range of investment opportunities long before the discovery of oil and gas in 2015 – however, there was little to no international interest being shown.
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 has been rapid.
After a relatively short time span of approximately two decades, Guyana has been 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 working 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, now that the Amaila Falls Hydro and gas-to-shore projects are on stream, it highlights the Government’s pursuit of alternative energy being prioritised.
With a progressing agricultural sector that can easily develop an agro-industrial complex, Guyana is once again climbing global developmental graphs.
We support the view of the President when he said on Tuesday to UK investors: “The country is in a very important stage now.”