Guyana remains a welcoming place for investors but many of the potential large investors remain concerned about infrastructure and high electricity rates.
During an interview on the Jumpstart morning radio show last Wednesday, US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway said the recent announcement by American Airlines that it will begin service to Guyana this year is a great thing for Guyana. However, when asked what more does Guyana need to have in place to welcome more American and other foreign investors, the Ambassador pointed to infrastructure.
“The biggest concern is the lack of infrastructure, Guyana has one of the highest electrical costs in the hemisphere, that’s around 35 cents per kilowatt hour, thats a lot and in the US its often 6 to 16 cents per kilowatt hour, just to give you a comparison and the quality of electricity is not where it needs to be, and as we all know there are blackouts and things like that, the high cost of internet and the speed of internet, I will say the speed of internet has gone up and has gotten much much faster, but I find Guyana very welcoming to US companies, they find the same”, he said.
Ambassador Holloway said another issue is that with Guyana population being under one million, its market is very small and so companies coming here would need to ship out their products and Guyana is without a deepwater port.
However, he said the good news is that when oil revenues begin to flow, Guyana will see a tripling of its Gross Domestic Product in five to seven years and there will be money to do infrastructure. He said overall the investment climate remains good under the current government as it was under the previous one.
A number of companies from the US and across the region have been looking for investment opportunities in Guyana as the country prepares for an oil boom. First oil will be produced in 2020.