Head of the United States Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Adam Boehler has affirmed that while the US will be supporting American companies here to engage in massive infrastructural projects, support will similarly be provided to Guyanese companies as well.
Boehler, who was on a high-level visit to Georgetown earlier this week, made this disclosure during a joint press conference at the Pegasus Hotel alongside US Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch and Private Sector Commission (PSC) Chairman Nicholas Boyer.
The top US official revealed that the US was eyeing opportunities in a number of sectors, including energy, agriculture and infrastructure, but at the same time it was willing and ready to offer support to Guyanese businesses so they too can develop and take advantage of the opportunities the country will provide.
“We have the ability to back US-based companies in Guyana, but also other companies – Guyanese companies too,” he told the media.
“We’re American: we always prefer and we like American companies; we know that there is a lot of great American Guyanese that would like to come in to invest, but we can back Guyanese companies as well in some of these efforts. So we’re not just restricted,” he expressed.
According to Boehler, what is most important to him is not the amount of money that is being invested, but the impact it is going to have on the country as a whole.
“We look at large infrastructural projects, like a large port, etc, but equally we look at every single mortgage that will go to an individual person in Guyana.”
He noted that the DFC would be looking at projects that are in the “multi-hundreds of millions to billions of dollars down to projects that are going to get $500 to a small entrepreneur that needs it”.
According to Boehler, the discussions with Guyana are among the best he has had in a long time. He explained that discussions would continue on which projects to invest in, but noted that deliberations have zeroed in on investment opportunities in energy, agriculture, and infrastructure.
“At the end of the day, one of my main goals at the DFC is to increase the number of jobs and livelihoods for persons living in Guyana … we’re looking to move to action very quickly, which is why we came. I am hopeful we will announce investments in Guyana very soon. We are going to engage with Nick and others, to identify projects we can invest in,” Boehler explained.
He described the collaboration with Guyana as unprecedented, noting that the conclusion of the five-month drawn-out elections in Guyana paved the way for it to happen.
In fact, the CEO tied the conclusion of the elections to the multiple visits Guyana has seen from high-level foreign officials since President Dr Irfaan Ali was elected President.
“I think now, we have a foundation for an elevated and strengthened relationship between the United States and Guyana. And it started with the finalisation of the democratic elections here, which gave us the basis for the Administration’s commitment to private enterprise, transparency, and the rule of law. That’s critical for us to invest,” Boehler added.
Boehler’s team included representatives from the US Departments of Treasury and State, the US Export/Import Bank, the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security.
Guyana’s delegation, meanwhile, featured the PSC and its affiliate bodies, as well as the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest). It is understood that the US Embassy in Guyana will serve as the focal point for further engagements with the US Government agencies.
Boehler’s visit comes less than a month after US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, touched down in Guyana for a visit. While in Guyana, Pompeo held engagements with top Guyana Government officials, including President Ali.
Pompeo had signed a Framework Agreement to strengthen cooperation in various sectors, including energy and infrastructure, under the umbrella of the Growth in the Americas Initiative, with Foreign Affairs Minister Hugh Todd.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Pompeo following the signing of the Framework, President Ali had explained that this agreement would not only pave the way for the US Private Sector to expand its investment portfolio here but also partner with the Guyanese Private Sector.
Secretary Pompeo had stated that the US would do all it could to help American companies have access to investment opportunities in places such as Guyana. But at the same time, he impressed that this has to be done in a fair and transparent manner as the US is equally interested in seeing the wealth that is created from these opportunities benefit Guyanese.