Guyana’s President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, told reporters at a press conference in Dubai this week that the new oil producing country is on the verge of realizing its full ‘second to none’ investment potential with the arrival of low-cost and best renewable mix of energy in the region.
The untapped potential of the South American country includes vast resources outside of the mega oil discoveries that have been made offshore since 2015.
“We have the greatest potential to supply all of the food requirements of the CARICOM region. We have large quantities of untapped freshwater. We sometimes focus on oil and gas, but freshwater is as important as oil and gas,” Mr. Ali said. “When we speak about the future and about sustainable development, we have biodiversity and eco-services, second to none. We have mining opportunities, second to none. We have tourism opportunities, second to none. We have opportunities in the ICT sector because of our geographic location, second to none.”
The President said that the high cost of energy and inadequate infrastructure have historically prevented Guyana’s development from being “ballooned upwards” despite the country’s tremendous potential. However, he noted that the Government will ensure that significant changes are made with the incoming resources and international interests.
“Suddenly, we now have the potential of ensuring all of these sectors flourish with the lowest energy rate in the region, with the best renewable mix of energy and the most sophisticated and efficient transport infrastructure.”
He explained that this positive change has resulted in discussions and planning for massive transformative projects like the gas-to-energy project, the hydroelectricity development authority project, the development of a new city, the development of a road connection between northern Brazil and Guyana, shore base facilities, deepwater facilities, and other larger projects.
Mr. Ali said there is also tremendous interest in developing tourism and eco-services, as well as food sustainability in the agriculture sector.
Dubai and Guyana are discussing the sharing of experiences and how they will “twin” their approach to development, given Guyana’s potential.
The Guyanese leader said now is an “excellent opportunity” for the UAE to look beyond its traditional areas of investments and explore Guyana and its surrounding environs to create a strategic alliance and partnership that will create new opportunities.
“I was speaking to some of the leaders, and I said listen, the UAE also would have to face challenges of food security. Let us see how Guyana can support your food security agenda and that of the Region, matching our resources, investment with land. And that is a type of visionary approach that we want to create moving forward,” he said.