By Alexis Rodney
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – The Guyana Office for Investment (G0-Invest) says there is wide scope for public-private partnerships (P3) to drive economic development across Guyana.
Chief investment officer, Dr Peter Ramsaroop, who is also chief executive officer of GoInvest, has noted that those investments must take into consideration the government’s push for local content.
During an interview with US-based broadcaster, Farook Juman on Friday, Dr Ramsaroop said the government will welcome all P3 for the large infrastructural projects it would be undertaking.
“The PPP/C government believes in the private sector as an engine of growth. Our office has signed MoUs with the [Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association], they are soon to embark on with the private sector. We believe in the collaboration,” Dr Ramsaroop said.
The construction of the Berbice River Bridge under the Dr Bharrat Jagdeo administration, is one of the PPP/C’s largest public-private partnerships.
Dr Ramsaroop said moving forward, the government will be embarking on many similar ventures. Areas for such partnerships include providing solar energy for electricity in the interior regions, along with the gas-to-shore project.
While the government has not yet outlined those initiatives, Dr Ramsaroop said opportunities will arise from those projects.
Investopedia defines P3 as a “collaboration between a government agency and a private-sector company that can be used to finance, build, and operate projects, such as public transportation networks, parks, and convention centers.
“Financing a project through a public-private partnership can allow a project to be completed sooner or make it a possibility in the first place.”
The chief investment officer stressed that all key investors, foreign or local, must understand the government’s policy on local content.
“Our president has spoken aggressively on this. We want Guyanese to benefit, we don’t want a variation of staff. It has to be where our people benefit from any investment and our office will strive to ensure that our capital framework, capital investment is there to ensure that our local companies are able to partner and the knowledge transfer gained from those joint ventures ultimately benefits our citizens,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Ramsarroop said Guyanese in the diaspora also have the option of returning home and investing. Areas for investment abound in the agriculture sector – one of the largest contributors to Guyana’s gross domestic product.
Additionally, since the government liberalised the telecommunications sector, there are a wide range of opportunities in this field that investors can capitlaise on.
“Guyana has the technical skill sets, a very educated population and the workforce to expand the technology area,” Dr Ramsaroop said.
Investment opportunities also exist in healthcare and medical tourism, and large-scale housing development.
Dr Ramsaroop said potential remigrants are not coming back to the “old Guyana,” but a new and exciting leadership that has a macro-economic plan. He said president Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has the vision and has already taken steps to create an enabling environment for investment.