Ramotar noted that, in today’s world, many jurisdictions are looking for ways to maximise their strengths by integrating with other parties and it is very crucial for the region to do the same.
“In Guyana we are located in a position where we can not only facilitate integration in the Caribbean but, with South America as well. The Caribbean must more and more, begin to see itself as part of a bigger movement,” the Guyanese head of state said.
He made reference to the global financial and economic crisis that Europe and North America are still experiencing to a large extent and noted that broadened bilateral relations will allow for Caribbean countries to better immunise themselves against the problems that affect other parts of the world.
Recent developments, particularly in the agriculture and mining sectors, have transformed Guyana’s investment climate, creating numerous opportunities that investors in the Caribbean and further afield should become more aware of, Ramotar added.
With the imminent growth in world population (nine billion by 2050), food security is a prime concern for every country. Guyana on the other hand, is richly endowed with arable lands and fresh water; which are two major factors in production.
“The Caribbean can definitely build its food security if they look in our direction… I urge you to exchange experiences and look for opportunities here,” the president said.
Government has been exploring all avenues that will make it easier for investors to expand their operations in Guyana, a move that they have been responding positively towards. As such, major deals have been signed with several reputable mining companies, which are currently operating in the country.
Additionally, plans are on stream for major expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), construction of a hydropower plant, deep water harbour and a world-class hotel.
“We are trying to have the important infrastructure that will facilitate processing, manufacturing and other forms of investments and, I hope that we can do that with the participation of our friends from the Caribbean and South America so that we can not only talk about integration but live integration in that way,” he said.
Meanwhile, executive director, of Invest SVG in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Cleo Huggins, who is representing the president of the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotions Agencies, said that they are trying to promote the Caribbean as an investment location rather than individual countries.
“We believe that each individual has its own strengths but collectively it will be more attractive to investors from the rest of the world,” Huggins said.
The Caribbean Association Investment Promotions Agencies is the umbrella organisation of the investment promotions agencies in the region including CARICOM and CARIFORUM. It provides training, mission and marketing services to enable an investment promotions agency to function effectively.