Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Better interest rates from banking sector, building ‘One Guyana’ on Ali’s radar

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Focus on how the banking sector in Guyana can play a bigger role in national development and how every Guyanese can benefit from the economic explosion in the new oil producing South American country are on the radar of President Irfaan Ali.

The Guyanese head of state on Thursday called for greater networking within the private sector to create more investment opportunities and navigate the global supply chain challenges. Mr. Ali made these remarks during a Christmas breakfast hosted in honour of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) at State House, according to a press release from the Office of the President.

“One of the important reasons for us to come together in such a multi-disciplined manner is to create a network within the private sector itself,” Mr. Ali said.

He spoke of shortcomings affecting business development, including the challenge of meeting high-level banking officials and the need for more efficient interactions.

“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,” he said.

Mr. Ali 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 utilized,” he stated.

The President said that he has charged senior minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, to meet with 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.” Mr. Ali said.  “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.”

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