His Excellency Dr. Irfaan Ali today called for greater networking within the private sector to create more investment opportunities and navigate the global supply chain challenges.
The Head of State made these remarks during a Christmas breakfast hosted in honour of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) at State House.
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), the Honourable Mark Phillips and Vice President, the Honourable Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, joined several other members of the cabinet for the meal.
“One of the important reasons for us to come together in such a multi-disciplined manner,” the President noted, “is to create a network within the private sector itself”.
He spoke of shortcomings affecting business development, including the challenge of meeting high-level banking officials and the need for more efficient interactions.
The President committed to not only creating an enabling environment to promote and grow new businesses, but to provide comprehensive support. As such, Ministers gathered for the event were tasked with listening to the concerns of the PSC members, individually or as groups.
“Let me be very clear, from the Government’s perspective, we value the private sector. We value the contribution of the private sector, and we believe strongly that the private sector must be able to generate jobs, create wealth, expand, grow and become wealthier, but at the same time, contribute socially to the country, and also ensure that they adhere to the tax laws.”
The Head of State also spoke about the importance of having direction and security in investment and development. To this end, he expressed the importance of the Natural Resource Fund Bill and the Local Content Bill.
“Both bills were tabled in the National Assembly, and we’re going back to debate those bills because they are critical. They are two critical pieces of legislation. It gives predictability, and this is important…you don’t have to guess what the formula is. The bill sets out in a very clear way how the resources will be utilised.”
President Ali said that in 2022, his Government will continue to create an environment to promote business development and enhance the lives of all Guyanese.
He spoke of Government’s investments and those done through the private sectors, including hotels, wharf facilities, and housing programmes.
Despite the many positives, the President called for the business community to expect challenges.
“…Next year would not come without challenges. Already we’re seeing major problems on the supply chain. I was looking at Aljazeera this morning, and more than 60% of the shelves in the US are empty right now. More than 60% of the shelves are empty…so you have to be ahead of what is going to take place. You know where the country is going; you know the type of investment that has to be made.”
The President said that he has charged Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, the Honourable Dr Ashni Singh, to meet with the bankers and representatives from the PSC to charter a way forward that will be beneficial to the business community and ordinary Guyanese alike.
“The interest rates on savings would not help the ordinary people who are saving or encourage ordinary people to save. We have to find safe and innovative vehicles and investment opportunities, where we can deploy the savings in the country from the banking sector and encourage those who are outside of the sector to bring their savings into the sector.”
He said that it is imperative to find simple ways to bring “the entire population with us as we pursue this path of development….When we say we want to build One Guyana, it is not by word. All our actions in Government, every single thing we do is geared towards achieving this objective. Building One Guyana in which the prosperity of all our people can be realised—all our people.”