With Guyana’s oil wealth positioning it as a lucrative investment destination within the region, Senator Aubyn Hill, Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Investment, and Commerce, is urging local entrepreneurs to seize the moment and make key investments.

Speaking at a media launch of Smart Mobile Solutions’ (SMS) Smart Tech 360 on Thursday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, Hill highlighted the significant potential for Jamaican businesses to benefit from Guyana’s recent economic boom. He underscored the importance of expanding Jamaican investment footprints beyond the local market, particularly in light of Guyana’s impressive oil reserves.

“That country now boasts reserves of about 11 billion barrels, which puts it in the top 20 in terms of its potential, on a par with countries such as Norway, Brazil and Algeria,” Hill stated. “The small country, which borders Venezuela, Brazil and Suriname in South America’s north-east region, also boasts the fastest-growing economy in the world.”

Hill passionately urged Jamaican entrepreneurs to capitalize on these developments. “I don’t take trade missions. I take business missions. I take business people to do business … . We took 61 to Guyana, back again to Guyana three times,” he explained.

“Listen to me carefully, continue to invest in Jamaica, build your company, but we have such a fantastic relationship with Guyana, we paid the respect over the years, they have respected us.”

Despite global efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement’s aim to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Hill emphasized that the current economic landscape still offers considerable opportunities.

“And so Jamaica must form a consistent and symbiotic relationship with Guyana to make sure, as their economy grows on the back of 11 billion barrels of oil declared, and I’m sure there are probably more, as Suriname grows its economy with one billion barrels of oil declared, Jamaica works with these countries,” he noted.

He predicted that Guyana, with its strategic Georgetown port, is on the path to becoming a major maritime hub similar to Singapore or Dubai. “Guyana has its Georgetown port and other ports in Suriname, and, in five to seven years, I predict that Guyana will expand its port as did Singapore and Dubai,” he said.

Reflecting on his experiences leading trade missions, Hill noted the overwhelming interest from Jamaican businesses in exploring Guyana’s market. “But, between now, four to seven years, there’s a lot to be done. I have taken seven to eight trade missions around the Caribbean, United States, Canada, Britain, and France and when I started in Guyana in October 2022, there were six ICT companies with us. We had 35 business people who paid their fares, paid their hotel, paid their food and were with us,” he shared.

He also encouraged Jamaican entrepreneurs to consider collaborative ventures as a strategy to penetrate the Guyanese market. “Go and find partners. We have whole heap of money in this country. For seven to eight years, we stayed out of the capital markets as a Government, making sure there’s money in there for the private sector to have. Get the private sector [and] come together in a group. But really and truly, there is money, but come together and form consortiums,” Hill suggested.

Overall, Hill’s call to action was clear: Jamaican entrepreneurs should not miss the chance to invest in a rapidly growing economy right within the CARICOM region. With the promise of substantial returns and the potential to foster stronger economic ties between Jamaica and Guyana, the time is ripe for Jamaicans to look southward and invest in Guyana’s promising future.


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