Talents & investments from diaspora can be leveraged with right incentives – Haitian official

– says diaspora can be important allies in tackling social issues

CASELI Executive Director, Patrick Dessources

Both Guyana and Haiti have an extensive diaspora community whose talents and financial capacity as investors can be leveraged to help develop their home countries – once the right incentives are on the table.
This was according to Executive Director of Haitian Business Support Operator Centre d’appui et de services aux entreprises locales et internationales (CASELI), Patrick Dessources during a University of Guyana (UG) lecture on Wednesday
CASELI, in addition to helping businesses build capacity, particularly in agriculture, also provides a link with the Haitian diaspora to get them to invest in their homeland. During his lecture, Dessources provided some insight into how Guyana can also go about getting its diaspora to invest and partner with local businesses.
“We need (investments from the diaspora) and making sure that when you are creating that business, take your time to do some research and connect with your friend in the diaspora,” he explained.
“Make sure you go online, and research is important. Because a lot of businesses… it’s just making sure you understand the business model, and how you can adapt it to your local situation. And bring the change you would like to see.”
According to Dessources, investors and allies must work together to tackle social issues. Additionally, the right incentive regime must be offered to get the diaspora to come and invest.
“I strongly believe with the right incentive, the diaspora be it Haiti or Guyana, mostly Guyana, the diaspora can fully participate as investors, allies, to help tackle the social issues.,” Dessources said.
There has, in fact, been much interest from the Guyanese diaspora in making investments in agriculture locally. Head of Guyana’s Diaspora Unit, Rosalinda Rasul, had told the Guyana Times in an interview earlier this year that they continue to field interest from the Diaspora in a wide range of investments, including agriculture.

Rasul had further noted that the Diaspora’s interest in large tracts of land for investment in agriculture remains high. However, she pointed out that they have had to temper expectations in some cases because the land being requested was either too large or not available.
Incidentally, Guyana has been selected to host this year’s Caribbean Investment Forum billed for July 10 to 12, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.
Deputy Executive Director (Officer in Charge) at the Caribbean Export Development Agency Leo Naut stated that it was a “no brainer” in selecting Guyana to host this year’s edition. He pointed out that Guyana’s rapid economic growth and potential in various industries outside of Oil and Gas make it a dynamic and attractive destination in which investors are seeking opportunities.
Naut also underscored that the government has created an environment to foster economic development while adding its efforts to develop policies geared towards economic diversification and infrastructural development among others combined with Guyana’s major strides in sustainable development with initiatives focused on building a green economy has created a very favorable investment climate.
Guyana will position itself as a hub for business collaboration and sustainable development initiatives at the event. It is the third time the forum will be held in the Caribbean, and this year’s host country plans to focus discussions on crucial topics such as sustainable agriculture, transitioning to a green economy, and the digitalisation of business operations.
Agriculture and food security are high on the agenda along with the need for cheaper energy by 2025 to facilitate large-scale agro-processing and sustainable farming. Over 400 bankable investors from the region will be attending the event, which includes an exposition for local private companies.