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Incentives across the board for investors

Article - June 5, 2015

From an ideal location and raft of trade agreements to extensive fiscal benefits and a high quality workforce, the republic holds real benefits for international enterprises

A country of vast, often untapped, promise both in its natural resources and its talent, Guyana’s forestry potential is just beginning to be realized. Its extensive network of rivers and Atlantic coastline provide ideal conditions for both seafood and aquaculture. Meanwhile, a pristine environment, unspoiled rainforest and exotic fauna and natural attractions make Guyana a highly attractive location for eco and adventure tourism.

Guyana’s robust, open market and network of free-trade deals present it as an ideal entry point into Latin America. As an added incentive, 75% of Guyana’s exports enter destination markets duty free, with many others receiving duty-free access. When you also consider that Guyana has direct access to 277 million consumers, and a US$130 billion export market with an overall purchasing power of more than US$2 trillion, you begin to grasp the country’s increasingly important role in global trade.

Foreign and domestic investors receive the same treatment, with an array of across-the-board investment incentives that include a flat business tax rate, waivers of custodies, value-added tax and excise tax, export tax allowances, and unrestricted repatriation of profits, as well as additional incentives in priority export sectors.

To further facilitate cross-border deals and investments, Guyana’s investment promotion agency, Go-Invest, provides support to investors before, during and after an investment has been realized.

Less well known than Guyana’s natural resources, but perhaps even more important, is its human capital. The country has one of the most competitive wage rates when compared to Latin America and the Caribbean. The labor force is well educated, with literacy estimated at close to 99%, and is regarded as trainable and hard working.

Finally, Guyana possesses the unique combination of being a South American country, with strong ties to the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and Asia. It also shares a very special bond with the United States in a common language and similar cultural traditions.

“The reality is that in today’s world English is the universal language and I do not anticipate that it will change anytime in the future,” says Dr. Ashni Singh, Minister of Finance. “There is very strong intercultural affinity with the United States, not only because every time we turn on the television we see CNN. In addition, there is very large Guyanese diaspora community of the United States and so the degree of cultural affinity and cultural adaptability is extremely high.”

“America will always be the key investor for Guyana,” says Keith Burrowes, Chief Executive Officer of Go-Invest. “I cannot see that changing.”

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