Foreign investors showing interest in Region One

A group of local and foreign individuals and company investors in the forestry, aquaculture, mining, handicraft and tourism sectors recently met with residents of Region One (Barima/Waini).

In this group were Essar Steel of India which intends to restart manganese mining and processing in Port Kaituma by mid-2008, the newly-reformed Jailing Forest Enterprises from China which has been offered a mill site at the Four Mile quarry area, and Forest Enterprise Limited which is interested in marketing and selling certified wood products from Guyana to Europe and other areas, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.

Also among the group were the National Aquaculture Association of Guyana, the Forest Products Marketing Council of Guyana and handicraft specialist Denzil Hollinsworth.

Meanwhile, farmers and other entrepreneurs of Mabaruma, Port Kaituma and other parts of Region One have been urged to develop a formalised approach to meet the demands of local and foreign investors who are in search of markets for the region’s products.

This charge follows a five-day visit by a team from the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Geoffrey Da Silva and included representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) and the new Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC), GINA reported.

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds joined the team on November 2. Meetings were held with stakeholders at Kumaka, Hosororo, Wauna, the Waini River, Port Kaituma and Matthew’s Ridge to continue the campaign of encouraging local entrepreneurs from the region to “organise for the market”.

The Prime Minister in his remarks disclosed the administration’s intention of growing business through strengthened partnerships and urged residents of the region to grab the opportunity, GINA stated.

Agriculture, he added, is important to the region since along with providing export impetus it is key to the livelihoods of residents. He also expressed enthusiasm over the re-establishment of mining which, he noted, will provide gainful occupation for residents.

He endorsed the initiative by Go-Invest to promote economic capacity building in Region One which is among the many areas across the country earmarked by government for assistance in the economic diversification drive.

Da Silva during the various meetings expressed optimism over Region One regaining overwhelming opportunities for investment as it had been in the early 1900s, supplying products to the local and Caribbean markets.

“Based on what this region has in terms of resources, this region could rapidly take off, just as Berbice did,” Da Silva said, according to GINA.

“In the world today where a number of countries can make a decision to hurt our economy badly, with the sugar protocol for instance, it is very important that our economy is more diversified and we are starting to see results in that respect,” Da Silva said.

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