A delegation of high-level public and private sector officials from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have explored an array of areas for investment in Guyana’s non-oil sectors.
Infrastructure, healthcare, tourism, agriculture, housing, renewable energy and education were some of the areas highlighted by the Guyanese senior minister in the office of the president with responsibility for finance, Dr. Ashni Singh at the opening of the Guyana-Saudi Arabia Investment Engagement at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana, has sought to advance the relationship between the two countries and engagements like the Investment forum provides important opportunities for Guyana to deepen and strengthen its relationship with Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi delegates who are being led by the deputy minister for investors outreach, Mr. Badr Al Badr were informed that Guyana is projected to be the fastest-growing economy in the world, largely due to its oil and gas sector.
Guyana produces about 350,000 barrels of oil per day with a reserve that is the third-largest in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the 17th largest in the world. The country has a heavy focus on developing a strong diverse economic base by investing in its non-oil sectors, according to the ministry.
“Our government, even in our earliest days of oil production, we have placed the highest level of importance on a strong non-oil economy. Our policies are focused on developing the traditional pillars of our economy and catalyzing a rapidly growing, and highly competitive non-oil economy. This is evident with Guyana’s non-oil growth projected at 7.7 percent this year, building on the 4.6 percent growth recorded last year, and over the medium-term, non-oil growth is expected to outperform regional and global averages.”
In the energy sector, the delegates were enlightened about Guyana’s ambitious plans for an energy mix that will not only reduce the cost of electricity by 50 percent, but also energy emissions as Guyana plays its role in protecting the environment.
Investments in the area of infrastructure include the construction of a high-span bridge across the Demerara River, a bridge across the Corentyne River linking Suriname and Guyana, and the commencement of the first phase of the road that links Guyana and Brazil.
There is also tremendous potential in the area of tourism as Guyana has untapped potential with its eco-tourism product. The visiting delegation was given a glimpse of what Guyana has to offer by way of the mighty Kaieteur Falls, and were encouraged to visit and see its potential.