Guyana, Dominican Republic to have economies boosted following private sector engagements

The economies of Guyana and its Caribbean counterpart, the Dominican Republic (DR) are expected to benefit from a tremendous boost in the near future following a private sector engagement between the two countries.

The engagement was held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) in Liliendaal on Thursday afternoon, and saw the two nations having a number of discussions on key areas of interest, including Infrastructure and Services, Tourism, Manufacturing and Natural Resources, and Agriculture.

Prime Minister of Guyana, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d ) Mark Phillips, in his opening remarks to both the Guyanese and Dominican business delegations, stated that as the fastest-growing economy in the world, Guyana is a country rife with opportunities to be capitalised on.

He noted that through bilateral relations formed between the countries in 1970, and a memorandum of understanding signed last year, Guyana also saw the first Sky Cana flight from the Dominican Republic, the accreditation of an ambassador of the Dominican Republic to Guyana, and the opening of the Dominican Republic’s official embassy here in Georgetown.

“There are immense opportunities for investment in Guyana, and we welcome [President Luis] and the delegation from the Dominican Republic here to Guyana to have wide-ranging discussions on all the possibilities that exist between our two countries…We look forward to fruitful discussions today, and fruitful discussion as we move forward,” he said.

President of the Dominican Republic, H.E. Luis Abinader

President of the Dominican Republic, H.E. Luis Abinader, expressed his happiness and hopefulness at being able to collaborate and develop with Guyana, noting that the country has a lot of potential.

He made mention of successful sectors in the Dominican Republic that saw growth due to innovation and economic diversification, and added that this makes the country an ideal investment partner for Guyana.

“This is the fastest-growing economy in the world. And that is why we decided to have our embassy here… so we can follow up and have major contact with you. What we want is to be a part of your success. We want to accompany you with your success, and we know that we can do that as the best partner that you can have. And between our government, and the relations that we have with [the government of Guyana] …we can work together, that any development from government to government, we can do it faster and help the private companies to do business in a proper way, respecting each country’s laws and objectives,” Abinader said.

The opening session of the meetings between the delegations also saw presentations from ministers of government on key sectoral areas in which Guyana that have potential for development and investment.

These included Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, who gave a comprehensive overview of the country’s infrastructural development, Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, who outlined the natural resources the Dominican Republic can benefit from, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, who went indepth on the country’s tremendous food supply potential, and Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, who outlined the similarities between the two countries, and areas of potential investment.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud, and Chief Executive Officer  of the Guyana Office for Investment, Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, also attended the engagement.

“Guyana, as an emerging powerhouse in the region, our stock is at an all-time high. We have a president with a vision of transformation for Guyana. And to be able to welcome folks from the Dominican Republic… [This] is a great partnership that I believe is in the works here. We have had a lot of conversations prior to this session, and I know that we will end it with collaborations as Guyana builds out its global sectors, and ultimately increases our competitiveness in the region,” Dr Ramsaroop said.

President of the National Council of Private Enterprise (CONEP) in the Dominican Republic, Celso Marranzini

President of the National Council of Private Enterprise (CONEP) in the Dominican Republic, Celso Marranzini, and President of Guyana’s Private Sector Commission (PSC), Komal Singh, expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to create trade relations through the engagement.

Marranzini noted that in the face of recent devastating events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, and disruptions in the global supply chain, now is an opportune time for the two nations to partner on key areas for mutual benefit.

“The timing cannot be more perfect than now for both of our countries to get together to further strengthen our friendship and our trade. These are times of great uncertainty globally… However, it is a formidable opportunity for the Dominican Republic and Guyana to accelerate our economic and social development,” he said.

President of Guyana’s Private Sector Commission (PSC), Komal Singh

Dr Singh echoed similar sentiments and voiced the willingness of the private sector to collaborate with CONEP to foster relationships between the two countries.

“You are here at a time when Guyana is going through unprecedented growth and development in every single sector. This is a good opportunity to strengthen bilateral and trade opportunities and relationships between the two countries,” he noted.

In September 2022, the Governments of Guyana and the Dominican Republic  fortified their ties with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a bilateral cooperation plan between the two countries.

That MOU provided for the strengthening of cooperation, examining opportunities, developing capacities, facilitating partnerships, and sharing experiences in industries including energy and mining, logistics, air, sea, and land transportation, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, investment advancement, and private sector growth.

The two countries will continue to enjoy a lasting relationship that will reap benefits for all Guyanese.

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