New York, United States– (March 17, 2019) Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, last evening, reiterated Government’s call for the Guyanese diaspora to return to Guyana and invest in the country.
Speaking to members of the diaspora at the St. Stephen’s Church Hall and later at a dinner hosted by ‘The Linden Fund’ at the Woodbine Hall, Queens, New York, the Minister of State said the 'good life' in Guyana beckons to people who are entrepreneurial, adventurous and committed to country.
Minister Harmon said too that members of the diaspora possess a plethora of skills, knowledge, expertise and resources, which can be used to develop Guyana. Referencing Guyana’s impending oil and gas industry and Guyana securing the title of World’s Number One Eco-Tourism Destination, the Minister said there are many investment opportunities the diaspora can take advantage of.
“I urge you to look at Guyana in a different way. We don’t want you to see yourselves as separate from the developments that are taking place in the country; count yourself as part of it. When you see yourself in that way, consider what you can do for Guyana. You have the exposure to technology, we are becoming a world class country and you can use your world class technology and knowledge to work with us and make all of us proud,” he said.
Quoting figures from the Guyana Office for Investment (GOInvest), Minister Harmon said the entity has facilitated approximately $89.4 billion in investments last year and the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Owen Verwey has assured that there have been no negative indications from businesses and investors stemming from the recent political developments. Of the $89.4 billion, $52.2 billion was generated from 56 executed investments across all sectors and platforms in the country.
As such, the Minister of State said Guyanese must become part of these investment initiatives so that they too can benefit from the wealth of their land of birth.
Later, speaking at The Linden Fund’s fundraising dinner, which will facilitate the undertaking of identified projects in the mining town, Minister Harmon reiterated this call as he noted that the Government is already creating the necessary environment for investments by implementing and executing public infrastructural programmes and putting the necessary systems in place to create business opportunities in every region and part of the country including Linden.
“In Linden and Region 10, Government spending in 2018 was in excess of $3.5 billion and this will increase to $3.9 billion this year. In 2018, contractors in linden benefitted from over $600 million in contracts and this will be repeated, if not increased, in 2019. Linden has received its own television station recently and a contract was also awarded in the sum of $179 million for the construction of a synthetic athletics track of international standard. This is only the beginning of what is in store for Linden and Region 10 and so you have opportunities waiting for you back home,” he stated.
Minister Harmon added that with the no-confidence vote against the Government, and the Opposition’s peddling of misinformation, there is a grave need for Guyanese at home and abroad to be united to repair the nation.
Ms. Paula Walcott, head of the organisation, committed to supporting the Government’s development works.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State met members of the Guyana United Youth Development Association (GUYDA) of New York which is focused on contributing to the social, academic and cultural development to Guyanese youths.
The team discussed areas of collaboration and projects that can be undertaken in Guyana.