Coined as a “historical moment for Guyana and Saudi Arabia”, the Deputy Minister for Investors Outreach of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Badr Al Badr, says that his home country wants to build a development roadmap for the two nations.
It would represent a powerful collaboration between the world’s second largest oil producer and the world’s most exciting new petroleum hotspot.
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On June 9, the Government of Guyana held an investment conference for the Saudi delegation of government and private sector representatives. At that event, the Deputy Minister highlighted several sectors that the two governments are looking to explore and advance. These include; agriculture, energy, manufacturing, tourism, information and communications technology (ICT), financial and logistical services, healthcare, infrastructure, and engineering – just to name a few. Al Badr also underscored the significance of the visit since the Caribbean and Guyana have become priority zones for investment with the Middle East nation.
“We have leading companies operating successfully internationally in many areas that can work with the Guyanese government and Guyanese companies to boost and diversify both of the countries’ economies,” he said.
Al Badr was quick to note that the Saudi companies looking to partner and invest in Guyana bring “strong capabilities and assets” that can support Guyana and Guyanese companies to expand. Importantly, he mentioned too that many projects can be funded through the Saudi Development Fund as well as the Saudi EXIM Bank.
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“We must not let this opportunity pass us by,” the Deputy Minister noted. “We should capture this golden opportunity. We are looking forward to the discussion with you and your team so that we could start developing a roadmap for Guyana and Saudi Arabia to work together and grow together.”
Al Badr spoke of the economic challenges that countries are faced with as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the Russia – Ukraine crisis. He related that these challenges highlight the need for both countries to build a more resilient economy, more external trade links and secure more growth opportunities.
Guyana signed an air services agreement with Saudi Arabia in May to promote and facilitate the expansion of international air services opportunities between the two countries. Guyana hopes that large Middle Eastern airlines, like Saudia, would establish operations in Guyana as their regional base.
Meanwhile, the President of Guyana, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, in his address, stressed the importance of strong decision-making, and not “circular talk” as the two sides engage in discussions. Dr. Ali said, not specific to an area of cooperation, that if Saudis want to partner with Guyana, the conversation must move forward.