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Jamaican Businesses Look to Seize Opportunity in Guyana

After a near six-month stalemate and swearing-in of Irfaan Ali as the new president of Guyana, Jamaican businesses have renewed their plans to enter the South American country, which is expected to have positive gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 53 per cent in 2020, despite COVID-19.

Following the first offshore discovery of the black gold by ExxonMobil in 2015, Guyana became the centre of attention among several businesses and multinationals looking to capitalise on the untapped economic value of the new resource which the English-speaking country didn’t have before. However, a vote of no-confidence against the Government forced the country into an early election as mandated by the provisions of the constitution.

The election fell into disarray following disputes over attempts to alter the election results. This unresolved issue made many businesses apprehensive of setting up shop in Guyana until the election results were finalised. That, along with COVID-19, delayed investments into the country as more firms became cautious on expansion plans. The election result was eventually resolved on August 2, giving businesses the confidence to renew their plans for business in Guyana.

When the Business Observer canvassed several local firms, the feedback received was mainly positive as they geared up to execute their plans. One such company was the National Commercial Bank Financial Group (NCBFG) which, through its subsidiary NCB Capital Markets Limited (NCBCM), funded the construction of a new landmark facility in January by Nabi/KCL Oilfield Construction Services .

President and CEO of NCBFG Patrick Hylton welcomed the resolution of the elections in Guyana as the group develops an operating model for country.

“NCB Financial Group Limited is happy that the general election stand-off is now settled, and we look forward to pursuing opportunities in a Caribbean territory poised to experience the largest GDP growth over the medium term,” Hylton said.

NCBCM will remain the main vehicle at the moment through which NCBFG can derive value in the South American state.


Source: Jamaica Observer

by: David Rose

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