Foreign investment in region down for third year
-UN report for 2002 Stabroek News

October 4, 2003

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Flows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Latin America and the Caribbean declined for the third consecutive year from US$84B in 2001 to US$56B, affecting 28 of the regionís 40 economies, including Guyana.

Minister of Finance Saisnarine Kowlessar (left) with Economic Affairs Officer of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Helge Muller, at the launching of UNCTADís World Investment Report at the Ministry of Finance yesterday.

These regions suffered a fall in foreign investment of 33% in 2002, although UNCTAD predicts that FDI flows will stabilise by the end of 2003, as the investment is expected to remain at levels comparable to 2002.

These facts are contained in the World Investment Report 2003 compiled by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which was launched locally at the Ministry of Finance yesterday.

FDI is considered to be long-term investment reflecting a lasting relationship in the resident economy, according to UNCTAD.

In Guyana, FDI is registered in the sectors of tourism, garment and textiles, housing, light manufacturing and information and communication technology (ICT) and mining among others.

Helge Muller, UNCTADís Economic Affairs Officer, said during the presentation that the FDI could be termed as investment into a new company, reinvestment in an existing company or a trans-national loan from the parent company to the subsidiary in the host country.

One of the benefits of FDI is the added value to the economy in which the investment is flowing.

This can be in the form of employment and royalties.

The report states that global flows should rebound and increase in 2004.

The report indicated too that privatisation might be a factor in the positive movement of trends and, coupled with favourable FDI policies, could provide a better enabling framework for cross-border trade.

Director of Go-Invest, Geoffrey Da Silva said that local investment was also essential to the growth of the economy and he pointed to the fact that the United Statesí economy was driven by small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Minister of Finance Saisnarine Kowlessar and his counterpart in the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Manzoor Nadir were also present at the launch.