Major French bank, energy, maritime firms to visit Guyana
…in bid to explore investment opportunities
A delegation of French businesses will later this month visit Guyana to explore investment opportunities in a variety of sectors including finance, maritime transport, and energy.
The French trade mission will mostly comprise of Small Medium Enterprises from French Guiana and the French Caribbean; with the business representatives expected to arrive on June 19.
But outside of the SMEs, there are at least three major companies that will be part of the delegation.
One of them is Société Générale, a French-based multinational financial services company founded in 1864, registered in downtown Paris; it is France’s third largest bank by total assets and the sixth largest bank in Europe.
Another major company on the delegation is maritime transportation company Soreidom & Caribbean Line, which offers regular shipping services between Europe and the Caribbean, the northern coast of South America and Brazil.
The third firm is HDF Energy, which is headquartered in France. HDF Energy is a global pioneer in hydrogen power, with regional offices in Australia, Barbados, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa. The company designs and develops high-power hydrogen power plants that generate stable and firm, non-intermittent, non-polluting renewable energy.
The trade mission will be led by the President of the Collectivité territoriale de Guyane, the executive entity of the French Guiana region, Gabriel Serville, and the French Ambassador to Suriname and Guyana Nicolas De Lacoste.
The visit is co-organised by the Chamber of Commerce of French Guiana and the French Embassy in Suriname and Guyana. The delegation is scheduled to depart on June 21.
During the visit, the team will be meeting with members of the Government and local private sector.
Guyana and France have been taking steps in recent times to strengthen their bilateral relationship. In April 2023, a delegation of French senators had visited the country where they met with President Dr Irfaan Ali. The French delegation was led by Joslle Garriaud-Maylam and featured Cattherine Dumas, Phillipe Falliot, Andre Vallini and Nicole Duranton. During the meeting, the Guyanese Head of State had described France as a “key partner” for the country’s future development.
The French senators’ visit to Guyana forms part of that country’s mission “to assess the new strategic balance in South America”, according to information from the French Embassy to Guyana.
The visit also contributed to materialising France’s new commitment to Guyana and the Guiana Shield region as a whole.
During the visit, the French delegation reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening cooperation with Guyana.
As the two countries seek to deepen their ties, a local office of the French Embassy is set to be opened on September 1.
Currently, the Embassy of France to Guyana and Suriname is located in Paramaribo, with the ambassador being stationed in the neighbouring Dutch-speaking country.
There are roughly 50 French persons residing in Guyana but the size of the Guyanese diaspora in France is not immediately known. The two countries established formal diplomatic relations on June 22, 1967.
President Ali had previously noted that one of Guyana’s foreign policy goals is to expand its relationship with French Guiana – with an overseas department of France.
“We’re all part of the Guiana Shield. So…we’re now trying to expand that relationship,” the Guyanese Head of State had expressed. (G11)