18 Aug Oil revenues to fuel robust growth
Proceeds from oil are being used to expand and modernize known industries in areas including agriculture, tourism and energy
With a packed resume that includes significant experience in the private sector as a successful entrepreneur in numerous multi-million dollar start-ups and executive management roles in Fortune 500 companies, Dr. Peter Ramsaroop is an ideal match for national investment agency, GO-Invest.
In less than three years, the US war veteran and author of various publications has piloted the entity to new heights through the capture of billions of dollars of investment in sectors that span the economic spectrum. Always excited to describe Guyana as the number one destination in the region, Ramsaroop outlines what investors are looking for.
“Firstly, we believe in a strong democracy, an accountable and transparent government with both a result driven and measurable plan, where every investor or citizen knows what we are doing and the government direction,” he explains. “Investors can be assured that revenues from the oil are being used to expand and modernize established industries in areas like agriculture, tourism and energy, among others.”
Guyana has always had a diversified economy at its core, but not on the current scale, he notes. Investors that have entered the market frequently say they are pleased with the government’s work. This praise, he says, is partly due to the aggressive transformation of vital infrastructure, including a focus on the key sectors of education and healthcare which are all important ingredients for investors.
“Guyana is a high performing stock,” the senior executive adds. “My advice to investors is not to spend too much time contemplating on their investment; just look at our numbers, whether it is GDP growth, GDP per capita, balance of payments or even the Natural Resource Fund, all indicate a very high performing stock with projections that are real.”
He highlights a forecast by the International Monetary Fund that states Guyana will experience a compounded annual growth rate of over 30% in its GDP per capita between 2020–2024. This year, in particular, will be especially pivotal, he adds.
“Between 2020 and 2023 we saw major investments in support for the oil and gas sector. For example, more than 75 American companies now operate in Guyana, with many setting up regional headquarters. This year is pivotal as the government has embarked on bringing gas to shore and building out a new 300MW power plant, the initiative by our President and CARICOM leaders to reduce the food import bill by 25% by 2025 in the region, the new offshore oil blocks up for auction, the increase in renewable energy micro grids in rural areas and the build out of seven new state-of-the-art hospitals, among other projects, set the stage for the next two years of investment opportunities.”
Asked what those areas will be, Dr. Ramsaroop says strong investment flows are seen in the areas of agro-processing, large scale farming and manufacturing as ministers reduce energy costs by at least 50% through new capacity. He is already seeing movement in these areas as companies size up Guyana’s natural resources. “The explosion in these sectors will happen,” he states confidently. “The time is now to step into buying that Guyana stock.”
Ramsaroop also opened up to a new sector in Guyana that will also take a leading role as the road to Brazil is modernized and the port facilities in Guyana are expanded. “The fact that northern Brazil is landlocked and thousands of containers take upward of 72 hours to get to water, simply turning that container around through Guyana will be less than 24 hours. In addition as we expand food production for CARICOM, a major expansion in air and sea freight to the region will occur.”
Ramsaroop stressed that the government’s investment regime is very attractive and the administration provides multiple assurances to investors in respect to any investments. These fiscal incentives include corporation tax holidays, repatriation of dividends, earnings and capital, double taxation treaties and trade deals.
“We have seen FDI from across the world. We’re proud that the local private sectors have stepped up to the challenge of investing in large scale projects including branded hotel chains, mega farming in soya bean and corn and fabrication and engineering services that includes works on the future floating production storage and offloading for oil and gas. Our value added products are getting to wider markets. I’m excited about the next phase of Guyana’s development, with the country brimming with hope and development as the build out of a Caribbean Tiger economy in food security, climate, and energy. Our future has arrived, the government has and continues to make good on all its arrangements for the arrival of prosperity for all Guyanese. Guyana is ‘Open for Business’.”