IDB Invest approved US$173M for Guyana’s private sector since 2020

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh with CEO of IDB Invest James Scriven (L)

As discussions and meetings continued today during the 2024 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and IDB Invest, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance and the Public Service, Dr Ashni Singh lauded IDB Invest for the financing provided to Guyana’s private sector as the country continues on its rapid economic development trajectory.

The financing approved by IDB Invest since 2020 when the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) returned to Government, amounts to US$173 million.

Dr Singh is currently in Punta Canta in the Dominican Republic attending the Annual meetings where he, along with economic and financial leaders from the 48 member countries of the IDB are discussing the challenges and opportunities for development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Mr Chairman I am delighted to report that between 2020 and 2024, to date IDB-Invest, just over the space of the last three years and a bit, has done 14 transactions in Guyana valued at US$173 million dollars,” the Senior Finance Minister explained at the forum.

It was on this note that Dr Singh, on Guyana’s behalf,  thanked the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IDB Invest, James Scriven, and his team at IDB Invest for the work being done in Guyana as well as the President of the IDB, Ilan Goldfajn for the work done on the preparation of the new strategy for IDB Invest, which was approved today. Minister Singh noted that ‘we expect a significant increase of activities in Guyana in keeping with the increased capital of IDB Invest to benefit our private sector

“Guyana is going through a period of rapid economic transformation and our economic growth will be driven heavily by investment in the private sector, and there is an abundance of opportunity for institutions like IDB Invest to participate in and support that  transformation, and we see IDB Invest answering that call and responding to those opportunities and indeed, leading the way in that regard,” the Senior Finance Minister posited.

Dr Singh expressed on Guyana’s behalf, strong support for IDB Invest 2.0 and the Capital increase as well as expressed enthusiasm that “IDB Invest would continue to provide hemispheric leadership and excellent example for other institutions in this space in relation to financing private sector investments in Guyana’.

Of note between 2015-2020, no approvals by IDB Invest were granted for Guyana in terms of private sector investment financing.

Post 2020 however, we have seen a rapid increase in approvals granted under the current administration culminating a few weeks ago when three agreements were signed between private sector companies in Guyana and IDB Invest on the margins of the IDB’s XII Consultations with Caribbean Governors hosted by Guyana.

The first agreement signed under transport and logistics in the amount of US$14 million was for the purchase by Muneshwers Limited of two new gantry cranes for multipurpose cargo activities and to build a logistics warehouse.   The amount included a senior loan of US$10 million from IDB Invest and US$4 million from the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry.  It will allow for an increase in port terminal capacity and productivity in Guyana and berth movements for cargo including from Suriname, Trinidad, Colombia, and Panama.

The second agreement under the purview of education and social investment to the tune of US$9 million was signed between IDB Invest, Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited and Texila American University to enhance its services in Guyana through the expansion of its accommodation facilities for staff and students. The US$9 million includes a senior loan of US$5 million from IDB Invest and US$4 million from Republic Bank. It represents the first private sector education project in the Caribbean and will positively contribute to the human capital development of Guyana via education, a primary focus of the Government.

The third agreement in the area of sustainable tourism and valued at US$22 million is slated to assist in the continued construction of the 172-room Four Points by Sheraton Hotel which is currently moving apace at Houston, East Bank Demerara, just off the new four-lane highway. For this, IDB Invest partnered with Caribbean Green Building Inc. for the financing to develop a sustainable mixed-use tourism project. The hotel is one of several internationally branded ones being constructed across the country to boost the tourism sector in keeping with the Government’s quest to develop the non-oil economy.

The 2024 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and IDB Invest are slated to conclude today, March 10, 2024.