President David Granger says that Guyana welcomes Chinese investment but called for such investments to be more closely geared to providing employment here and national development.
The Head of State was at the time speaking at the Association of Chinese Enterprises in Guyana’s (ACEG) annual dinner and launch of its 2017 business magazine, which was held at the New Thriving Restaurant on Main Street, a release from the Ministry of the Presidency said yesterday.
The President assured the ACEG of his government’s commitment to supporting foreign direct investment. “We are committed to the protection of foreign citizens, visitors and investment through improved public security and human safety measures. We will continue to provide a business climate that is favourable and friendly to all investors. We assure you of the Government’s support for investment, which can advance our economic development,” he said.
While Chinese investment has grown here over the years, several high-profile companies have encountered difficulties with the authorities particularly in the forestry sector, Baishanlin being a prime example.
The release said that Granger made reference to a meeting he had with Chinese Ambassador, Cui Jianchun, who proposed a five-point agenda that focuses on infrastructure, Information Communication Technology, investment, industry and integration. He said that this plan, which he referred to as the ‘Jianchun Initiative’, gels with Guyana’s ‘green’ agenda as well as its overall development policy and it can form the basis for increased investment and trade between Guyana and China. The President added that while Guyana has an abundance of natural resources, it needs capital.
“Guyana is becoming a ‘green state’ and the development of renewable energy sector is a central pillar of our ‘green’ development agenda. Guyana is excited by the interest, which has been shown, so far, in the development of our sustainable energy sector, including hydro-electric, solar, wind and biomass sources of energy development… The Government of Guyana remains open to working with the Association to our mutual benefit and profit,” Granger said.
The President placed on record, his Government’s appreciation to former Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Limin, whose support for the ‘One Laptop per Teacher’ initiative last year did much to advance information technology in the education system.
According to the release, President of the ACEG, Kevin Liu said that even though the members of the organisation have been undergoing difficult economic times over the past three years, they have stayed constant to their objectives.
“Guyana continues to attract an increasing number of Chinese enterprises to invest in the economic development of Guyana resulting in strengthened relationship between Guyana and China…We at the ACEG consider ourselves very fortunate and privileged to be operating our businesses here in Guyana,” he said.
The release said that the ACEG was established in April 2013 with 11 Chinese companies and that number has grown to 19. Its members include: China Harbour Engineering Company, China Trading, Baishanlin, China Railway First Group, Standard Agroforestry Incorporated, Bosai Minerals, Rong-an Incorporated, Huawei Technologies, Lonh Hi Centre, Guyana Green Farm Incorporated, Guyana Hansom International, Sunset Lakes, China Dalian International Cooperation, Hi-Tech Construction, Power China International, Nuctech Company and China Railway 17 Bureau Group.