—Calls private sector an important partner in Guyana’s development

Georgetown, Guyana—(April 18, 2023) His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali said that his Government will work along with the Private Sector Commission (PSC) to develop the needed policies and programmes aimed at giving women and young people the opportunities to own their own businesses.

The Head of State, who addressed the 31st Annual General Meeting at the Marriot Hotel in Georgetown this afternoon, said that his Government remains committed to creating opportunities for the growth and development of all Guyanese.

He said that the Government would work to generate the enabling environment and build the infrastructure to support the private sector in their endeavours.

“This Government would work with you to open up opportunities through special policies and programmes to reach out to women and young people to own businesses… the opportunities are enormous.”

The President also noted that if the country’s economic issues are to be solved, then it is necessary that the PSC, the Government and other stakeholders work “hand-in-hand” and forge partnerships to “address extant and future challenges to our economy and the well-being of our citizens”.

The pace of the massive transformational projects in the country, the President explained, has resulted in the shortage of both skilled and unskilled labour.

“Upon assuming office we took steps to begin to train persons, but clearly now the rate of development has outstripped the rate of new skilled entrants into the labour market. We are actively addressing this issue.”

“Over the long-term and as our economy grows further, we will have to look towards the importation of skilled labour. Our population is much too small to sustain an economy which has tripled in size in recent years. The issue of skilled labour has to be further discussed with both the private sector and labour as a matter of urgency.”

President Ali also told the AGM that he is pleased to see a new future emerging for Guyana.

“We will build a Guyana that is second to none. We will build a Guyana that will provide global leadership in a world 2030 and beyond that is called the 2030 Agenda. You will be part of a country that will be a leader in climate change. You will be part of a country that will be a leader in energy security, and you will be part of a country that will be a leader in food security. There is no second guessing this.”

Guyana, the President emphasised, is not an oil and gas country, but a country in which the resources from oil and gas will be used to build a strong, competitive, resilient and sustainable economy.

The revenues, Dr Ali explained, “must be able to give our people the best possible education, the best possible healthcare and the best possible infrastructure through which their lives can be built better and stronger. The revenues of oil and gas must allow us to position ourselves within this region not as a leader alone, but as a conscious contributor to the advancement of this region in all facets of human life and human development.”

Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, the Honourable Dr Ashni Singh; members of the diplomatic community and other Government officials were also at the event.