Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association Dinner and Awards Ceremony
November 29, 2022
Good evening, everyone! I am so sorry that I cannot be there with you tonight in person, but, given the importance of our longstanding collaboration with GMSA, I wanted to offer my greetings and congratulations to Mr. Rafeek Khan and all GMSA members on one of your most productive years yet. I also know you have big plans to continue growing GMSA, developing manufacturing in Guyana, and improving both the business environment and products manufactured in Guyana. I am very happy to join your “Celebration of Industries,” especially as we look forward to further development and diversification. But in keeping with the theme, I do want to offer my own thoughts on the “Celebration of Industries.”
When I arrived in Guyana nearly four years ago, I could not imagine all the partnerships, opportunities, and yes, even the challenges that my team and I would work on. Guyana is moving forward fast, and there is indeed much to celebrate. When I talked to GMSA’s membership at your March meeting, I spoke about how, in order to enable economic diversification, Guyana had to look for lower-cost, more reliable electricity that must be available for manufacturers, and I discussed modernizing the tender process to account for quality and reliability. Fast forward to today, and I have been thrilled to learn that the Government of Guyana has made the historic decision to build a power plant and NGL facility that will indeed lower that cost of electricity for both investors and citizens. I am also excited that a consortium of companies from the United States will be assisting with this transformational project. Imagine a time when you don’t have to install all your own generators, but instead can rely on affordable and reliable electricity! The opportunities that this will unlock in manufacturing and value addition across the non-oil sectors like agro-processing will be phenomenal.
So, as we look forward to the next several years, I know Guyana is likely to continue its rapid transformation. And, U.S. firms and their local partners will be there with you. They will continue to lead the way on some of the most important efforts during this time of rapid change, whether it be in infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and hospitality or other sectors.
The U.S. Embassy is always looking ahead to find opportunities where it can increase its partnership with Guyana. Recently, we hosted the largest U.S. Trade Mission ever to come to Guyana – Trade Mission Louisiana – a state that has many things in common with Guyana from its climate and agricultural products to its thriving energy industry. These U.S. firms, as well as many others, in a variety of sectors, are looking forward to providing their expertise and their support to Guyana.
We know things always work best when we partner, and that is why we so greatly appreciate working with GMSA. And, I thank GMSA for taking the time to meet extensively with both the Louisiana Trade Mission and another U.S. Trade Mission recently, describing the depth and breadth of opportunities in Guyana.
But investors both in Guyana and the U.S. want action, so what is the U.S. Embassy doing exactly?
- First, we know that navigating the business world in Guyana can be confusing at times for investors, so our embassy team has made hundreds of connections between reputable U.S. firms and Guyanese private sector associations and their members.
- We know that reliably traveling for work is important to Guyanese businesspeople, which is why we worked hard to get wait times down for visa appointments, offered expedite appointments when needed for urgent business travel, and pushed for the now multiple daily flights to the United States, and we will push for more.
- We know that reliable, cheap electricity matters, which is why selecting the U.S. consortium of CH4 and Lindsayca – a consortium of U.S. companies that brings quality and excellence to all that they do – to build the Gas to Energy project will unlock future economic development and diversification of Guyana, for all Guyanese. The United States will now be working on Guyana’s largest onshore-infrastructure project, which is only fitting because we are also your lead development partner offshore!
- We know that access to capital is not easy, which is why we brought the U.S. Export Import Bank to Guyana this month to brief the banks, and the private sector, on their financial products that could assist with purchasing U.S. goods.
- Importantly, we know that local jobs matter, which is why we’re thrilled that U.S. private sector firms employ more Guyanese than any other firms. Our companies don’t just come to talk; they come to work. And they don’t just come to work here themselves; they come to hire Guyanese. Thousands, in fact! And, U.S. firms don’t just hire them, they train them up to world-class standards as valued, long-term partners.
- one point on trade, because we know that matters too. U.S. firms aren’t just hiring and training Guyanese, they are driving the U.S. forward as Guyana’s largest and most-balanced trading partner. Our trade relationship is more than twice the size of the next largest partner, and it is also a very balanced trading relationship. This means our ties reach far beyond just the large diaspora in the U.S., so there are lots of reasons to “celebrate” and Guyana should be proud to know that the United States is not just a friend, but a leading partner in its development.
- Finally, we know that inclusion matters, which is why we are constantly working to make sure our efforts incorporate private sector partners of all backgrounds, sizes, and expertise. We provide entrepreneurship training, mentorship, pitch competitions, investor roundtables, and we are always looking to do more.
So again, there is so much to “celebrate!” Congratulations on all of GMSA’s and, more broadly, Guyana’s accomplishments to date. I believe there will be even more to “celebrate” in the years ahead.
As U.S. Ambassador, I am proud of my team’s work and the incredible partnership we have deepened with Guyana’s government, private sector, and, most importantly, the Guyanese people. Keep up the great work everyone, but tonight please enjoy your “Celebration of Industries!”