One of my goals when I first arrived in Guyana was to support the launch of an American Chamber of Commerce in Guyana. However, I honestly was not sure whether there would be enough interest. I want to commend AmCham-Guyana’s leadership and other supporters within Guyana’s private sector, who took this initiative from concept to reality in record time. In fact, I would not be surprised if Guyana has not set the record for the fastest launch of an official AmCham affiliate since this was a mere concept just earlier this year.
For Guyana, this is a perfect time to launch an AmCham affiliate. AmCham-Guyana will promote and create US-Guyana trade and business opportunities and partnerships. It will also share in the exchange of best practices for institutions and systems building. Both American and Guyanese companies will benefit, as will the people of Guyana and the United States.
Of course, I am not sure whether anyone could make remarks here tonight without mentioning oil. Most have heard my comments many times on the subject, and I will not say much. However, I will say that this discovery is really, really big and it will have really, really, big impacts on Guyana’s future and its people. In fact, without the discovery of oil in 2015 and the subsequent influx of American companies into Guyana we would likely not be here tonight.
Guyana is much more than oil, as is evidenced by an economy that has seem positive growth for at least the last 10 years. Beyond oil, Guyana can also leverage and develop its other industries to include tourism, manufacturing, non-oil extractive industries, and other services. It is apparent that Guyana is seizing the moment. The government has launched several initiatives to encourage more foreign direct investment and the environment is friendly to foreign investors.