Louisiana Trade Mission: Opportunities are beyond Guyana’s borders

…great opportunities as a logistics hub – President Ali

President Dr Irfaan Ali recently made a pitch to a group of potential investors from Louisiana, United States, outlining his government’s vision of making Guyana a logistics hub in the region.

President Dr Irfaan Ali and US Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch with representatives of the LDEC Trade Mission

The Louisiana District Export Council (LDEC) led the largest trade delegation to Guyana this week. More than 20 private sector leaders from across Louisiana as well as Texas, Washington, and Pennsylvania have met with Guyanese businesses and government officials to have discussions in key sectors including generation equipment, cybersecurity, automotive, building and construction materials, energy, and oil and gas.
Those meetings and market briefings were aimed at helping the visiting delegation to better understand the business environment in Guyana.
US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, hosted the trade mission at her Bel Air, Georgetown residence for a reception that saw them further connecting and networking with local stakeholders.
Addressing the gathering, President Ali posited that have such a large and dynamic US trade mission is important to Guyana as his government work to position the country as a hub for reverse logistics. He noted that there are abundance opportunities beyond Guyana that US companies can tap into.
“We see our prosperity as part of the regional prosperity… The opportunities are beyond our borders also…”
“From Northern Brazil, you can have all the imports that the US need. How do we ensure that the US exports get into Brazil through Guyana as the logistics hub and then we go up back the chain because we will create the demand for shipping from both sides, which will reduce the cost of shipping,” he stated.
According to the Head of State, Guyana is building a system that will ensure its our borders can catalyze the dream of potential investors having a bigger market. He pointed out that many US companies already produces products that are in demand in Northern Brazil, which directly borders Guyana.
“We already have a system that allows duty free and a lot of tax incentives and fiscal incentives in Lethem. [We have to now look at] how do we move to have US companies position themselves in Lethem to benefit from bigger markets and do something else,” he noted.
Using the examples of products such as liquid sugar and refined sugar, which are two imported commodities, the President noted that if a free manufacturing zone is set up then that company would automatically have a market for its products across the Caribbean region duty-free.
“That is the type of vision that we have in creating Guyana as this main logistics hub. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and partnering,” he posited, while encouraging Guyanese business to take advantage of the opportunities these potential investors present.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Lynch highlighted the close physical and cultural ties between the US, specifically Louisiana, and Guyana as one of many incentives for U.S. companies to invest here. She told the trade mission of the many opportunities in various sectors that are available for investments.
“There are so many – in fact, I would say, endless – opportunities to invest in Guyana and endless reasons… The Guyanese, they want what US companies have. They want quality, they want excellence, they want on-time and on budget projects…,” the diplomat noted.
Part of the 25-member visiting group were also economic developers, industrial training experts, Louisiana state officials, as well as U.S. government officials. Combined, the US companies represent over $238 billion in annual revenue, and employ tens of thousands around the world.
The delegation conducted productive meetings with key private sector contacts and experts to highlight Guyana’s business environment, learn about the government of Guyana’s efforts to promote investment and economic diversification, explore market entry strategies, foster partnerships, and develop closer trade and investment ties between Guyana and the United States.
In total, the US firms engaged with more than 70 local organizations in Guyana’s private and public sectors. Both US and Guyanese participants anticipate future partnerships and business deals as a result of the meetings.
With 23 markets and 41 million people, the Caribbean presents a growing opportunity for U.S. companies. The delegation sought to capitalize on the strong bilateral trade relationship between the U.S. and Guyana, with bilateral trade reaching US$1.4 billion in the first half of this year alone.