President David Granger: Thank you, please be seated. Thank you Master of Ceremonies; Mr. Chairperson; Honourable Prime Minister, Mr. Moses Nagamootoo and Mrs. Nagamootoo; Vice President Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan and Mrs. Ramjattan; Chancellor of the Judiciary, Honourable Carl Singh and Mrs. Singh; Former President of Guyana, Mr. Donald Ramotar and Mrs. Ramotar; Ministers of the Government; Members of the Opposition; Ambassador Cui Jianchun and Mrs. Cui Jianchun of the Peoples Republic of China; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; Proprietors of the New Thriving Chinese Restaurant, Mr. Xiao Zhao and Mrs. Ping; special invitees; members of the media; ladies and gentlemen:
I am happy to be here this evening to extend not only congratulations to the proprietors of the New Thriving Chinese Restaurant, but also to those of you who missed it, two weeks ago, to extend best wishes for a Happy New Year – The Year of the Fire Rooster – to all persons of Chinese origin in Guyana.
Guyanese and Chinese are brothers and sisters. As you know historically, Guyana has been home to Chinese people for 164 years. The Chinese presence in Guyana is not transitory, it is permanent, it is perennial.
The first Chinese came here as indentured immigrants; many remained to have distinguished themselves in the field of academia: agriculture, aviation, business, engineering, law, medicine sport and other professions.
The fraternal bonds between Guyana and China has been fortified by new waves of Chinese who have come not as labours, not as indentured immigrants, but as investors. They have established enterprises such as the one we have come to open this evening, the New Thriving Chinese Restaurant.
Chinese children are attending schools and excelling in their examinations. Chinese entrepreneurs are influencing Guyana’s economic development, the strong foundation laid by our fraternal ties and friendship has been solidified by the presence of business enterprises. Guyana welcomes Chinese investment. Our economic policy is one of enabling foreign direct investment. Our fiscal policy is one of encouraging investors, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity. Chinese investment however, has been particularly vibrant in recent years. This vibrancy has coincided with the transformation of the economy of the People’s Republic of China. We encourage even more investment, including the establishment of restaurants such as the one we are opening here this evening.
Huge undertakings often have humble beginnings. The New Thriving Restaurant chain began as you heard from Dr. Persaud, with a small restaurant in Regent Street, 24 years ago. They later opened a larger facility in Main Street and then in Camp Street and also in Barr Street before we come here tonight at Providence. I was fortunate to have visited all of the branches before tonight so I’m a veteran of the New Thriving Chinese Restaurant.
The New Thriving Chain has become a brand. It is well established. It has become a household name. The restaurants have become well known for the Cantonese, Japanese and Szechuan cuisine. The restaurants have enriched our hospitality product for tourists.
Ladies and gentlemen, Guyana is in transition towards becoming a ‘green’ state. The ‘green’ state would place emphasis on agriculture and agro-processing among other things. We look forward to Chinese investments that would help to drive that ‘green’ agenda.
This country has abundant lands which could be used for agricultural purposes. We have the potential to supply all the agricultural produce needed by local hotels and restaurants. We therefore look forward to increased Chinese investments in agriculture and agro-processing.
We would like to see all of our agricultural produce, everything that is used by the New Thriving Restaurant chain; every bowl of rice, every leaf of lettuce, every breast of chicken, every leg of pork being produced right here in Guyana. Why not? [Applause.]
I urge the proprietors of this impressive restaurant chain to invest in local produce. I encourage them to consider investing in agriculture and agro-processing so that Guyana could become the focal point for food security in this ‘green’ state.
I am confident that this new restaurant will further enhance the country’s dining services. I congratulate the proprietors of this newest link in the chain, the ever extending chain, of New Thriving Restaurants.
It is a demonstration of confidence in our country’s future. I ask therefore that you all rise and join me in toasting the good fortune of the New Thriving Chinese Restaurant Chain.
Ladies and gentlemen, to the good fortune of the New Thriving Chinese Restaurant Chain in Guyana.
Thank you.

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