Why investors shun Guyana
Stabroek News
May 1, 2002

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Dear Editor,

The inclination by some to blame the PNC/R for the lack of investor interest in Guyana betrays an ignorance of the complexity of the problem. It underscores a poor understanding of the characteristics and conduct of an investor friendly country (Trinidad, Barbados, Guyana 1986 1992) as opposed to one that isn't quite sure what it is or what it wants to be.

Over the last 10 years Guyana may have lost a billion US dollars (and 20,000 to 25,000 new jobs) in foreign investment due largely to the absence of an investment enabling environment with effective enabling mechanisms. This critical investment infrastructure is still not in place and until it is serious major investors will keep well away.

They will shun Guyana not because Guyanese exercise their legitimate right to protest but because investors lack confidence in the country's ability to manage a mutually beneficial relationship with foreign private investors. This has to do with their perceptions of a "lingering ambivalence" to private sector investment; institutional lethargy, incompetence, indifference, unrestrained corruption, and government by device.

The removal of these perceptions will go a long way towards creating the right climate for attracting investments.

As we lurch dangerously close towards full unemployment we need to direct our collective energies not at blaming the opposition political parties, weather patterns or acts of God, but systematically addressing investor aparthy before Guyana is rendered "closed for business".

Yours faithfully,

Hamley Case