I attended a forum called: Investment Opportunities in Guyana on 1 November in Miramar, Florida. The feature address was given by Mr. Robert Persaud, Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture. I found his feature address unappealing and his Power Point presentation distracting with too many GOSPLAN-like charts and numbers.
The audience was mainly Guyanese, most of whom were the wrong target as potential investors in Guyana’s agricultural sector. Robert Persaud did not exude the level of confidence and excitement in his address which may have encouraged potential investors to consider Guyana as an excellent venue for foreign investment.
However, the minister cannot be blamed for the poor target audience. This blame falls on Guyana’s Honorary Consul in Florida, Mr. Ramzan Roshanali who invited the potential “investors”.
The Jagdeo government is mainly to blame for a wasted evening by choosing individuals without the qualities to organize, persuade, convince and sell potential investors to choose Guyana.
If it is a political necessity to have party members occupy the ministerial positions, then the PPP government should employ technocrats to conduct the people’s business.
The night was saved by Mr. Bayney Karran, Guyana’s Ambassador to the United States. Ambassador Karran exuded confidence and his delivery of a short but well prepared speech showed his professionalism.
The Jagdeo government must realize Guyana is not the only place in the Americas favourable for agricultural development. Guyana is competing with many nations for investment dollars and the Guyana government must recruit a professional marketing team if it wants to succeed. Otherwise, the only investments Guyana will attract are in the resource depleting timber and mining industries.