Caribbean’s natural strengths are “inclusiveness, resilience, competitiveness and diversity,” Guyana’s President tells global investors

  • Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali promotes region at ‘Caribbean Investment Forum’ at Expo Dubai 2020.
  • Over 250 investors attended forum to hear about Caribbean investment opportunities.
  • President Ali: Caribbean has “immense possibilities” but needs “capital and technology”.

Guyana’s President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, has urged hundreds of global investors attending Expo Dubai 2020 to see the Caribbean as a dynamic region that is perfectly positioned for investment and innovation.

Speaking to attendees at the Caribbean Export Development Agency’s ‘Caribbean Investment Forum’ (CIF2022) on March 22, 2022, President Ali said the region’s “inclusiveness, resilience, competitiveness and diversity”, are natural advantages which are necessary for sustainable economic development.

President Ali, the official patron of CIF2022, added: “We are in the UAE, and perhaps it is very important for us to position the region in the context of the UAE, because there are many intense similarities, and many examples of the paths to the development process and what it has bought to this region, as it is to the paths we’re taking now in the Caribbean.”

In October 2021, President Ali told Expo Dubai how Guyana had transformed into “the world’s fastest-growing economy in 2020” with a GDP growth of 43.8%, but he acknowledged that foreign direct investment was essential for the country to continue its ambitious upward trajectory.

Speaking to Caribbean Export before CIF2022 on Monday, President Ali reiterated that “capital and technology” are key for the region to make the most of its “immense possibilities”.

He stated: “The Caribbean is a region that has enormous opportunities in luxury resorts, hotels, eco-services, climate services, mining, oil and gas, sustainable energy, renewable energy, health, education, infrastructure, transport, and logistics, these are all opportunities that reside in the region. These opportunities need to be capitalised on.

He added: “The missing ingredient is capital and technology, and this is what the region is pushing for now. Looking at non-traditional areas, non-traditional investor platforms, through which we can market the potential of the region and bring in the necessary capital and technology that will ensure we make use of existing (trade) agreements…the productive capacity of the region needs to be multiplied many folds in order for us to make use of the potential that exists in the region because of our location, accessibility, ease of doing business, the hospitality of our people, and our investment climate. These are all natural characteristics of the region that offer definitive, comparative advantages.”

CIF2022 was hosted in collaboration with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) and the European Union and held on the side lines of Expo Dubai 2020. It featured panel discussions and networking opportunities with high-level Caribbean public officials and representatives from regional financial institutions including the Caribbean Development Bank.