In a bid to facilitate more Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), President David Granger is courting Brazil’s National Oil Company, Petrobras.

At a press conference held yesterday, Granger said that a high-level meeting was held with Brazil some weeks ago. He said that Guyana’s relations with Brazil are an important part of the nation’s strategy.

He said, “Relations with them are pivotal. As far as Petrobras is concerned, yes, we have stated to Brazil that we would be happy if we could get investments. In fact, we would like to populate the market zone with as many serious potential investors as possible and that is still being pursued.”

While Granger may be eager for investments by Petrobras, local critics have said that a dose of extreme caution is needed when dealing with nations like Brazil.

Chartered Accountant, Anand Goolsarran is one who had issued a warning to the government in this regard. He had said that Petrobras was embroiled in the largest corruption scandal in the history of Brazil which that led to nation-wide protests in 2016 and contributed to the impeachment and subsequent removal of the Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Goolsarran noted that the scandal, uncovered during a money laundering investigation nicknamed “Operation Carwash”, involved inflating contracts for construction and service works and “kicking-back” the difference, estimated at US$3 billion, into the personal bank accounts of senior executives of Petrobras, certain political figures, and the ruling party to fund its election campaigns.

The Chartered Accountant said, “We must, therefore, be extremely careful in our selection process of companies we want and ensure that the terms and conditions of any new agreement represent the best interest of the country.”


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