Remarks by Ambassador Theriot at Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association Annual Awards & Dinner

Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Nicole Theriot
Guyana Manufacturing & Services Association Annual Awards & Dinner   
November 28, 2023

Good night, everyone!

President of Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association, Mr. Ramsay Ali
Minister of Natural Resources the honorable Vickram Bharrat,
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, the honorable Oneidge Walrond,
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works the honorable Deodat Indar
Honorable Members of the GMSA, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of the media, all gathered, good evening.

I would like to start by offering my congratulations to you, Mr. Ramsay, and your executive team for what I understand has been an impressive year for GMSA. You continue growing your membership, and I’m pleased to learn you’re adding American firms as well! I would also like to extend my congratulations to each of the companies here tonight who are receiving awards as well as those who continue to make an impact in Guyana.

It is such a pleasure to share this evening with you, not only to celebrate recent achievements, but to also look forward to further developing our ties together.

Over the past year, GMSA supported multiple trade delegation visits, advocated on behalf of companies throughout Guyana, and kept an eye towards the future by encouraging the greater adoption of safe and secure technology.

GMSA plays an important role in Guyana’s continued development as well as the country’s economic diversification.  And from your leadership on down, through your corporate social responsibility initiatives and civic leadership, GMSA prioritizes inclusive growth aimed at uplifting everyone as Guyana’s economy transforms with breakneck growth rates.

The energy sector has been the catalyst for Guyana’s remarkable growth but investing and fostering other sectors at the same time is important.

Economic growth does not always result in economic diversification.  In order to shift the economy toward a wide range of sectors and markets, lower-cost, more reliable electricity must be available for manufacturers as well as having a reliable and high-quality infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and ports to support traders and farmers.

Economic diversification is obtained through enacting policies that enable private sector growth, welcome private investment, and deepen commercial linkages.  This approach will help expand joint ventures so that prosperity is more widely and equitably shared.

The United States values being Guyana’s preferred partner in its development, and I’m proud to say that we are increasing our engagements on both of the areas that I just mentioned.

Our Political/Economic Affairs team focuses on promoting the types of policies which propel growth. From advocating for land permitting processes for agricultural investors to legal and regulatory frameworks that attract additional financial institutions to the market, the team is proactive in supporting the realization of our shared values and prosperity.  Moreover, the work of capacity building and training across different sectors serves as an important part of preparing Guyanese companies for the economy of the future.  Partnering with GMSA on these fronts is invaluable.

We will continue to work together to promote inclusive growth and empowering workplaces.  The private sector has already had a role in combatting these endemic challenges.  Mr. Ramsey, I know, is personally involved in a lot of corporate social responsibility, which I applaud. Still, there’s more work to be done. With organizations like GMSA, we can work together to promote physical and psychological safety in the workplace, in turn boosting productivity, morale, and effectiveness. The potential impact is tremendous, and I trust GMSA will be a champion and collaborator in this effort.

The other side of the coin is deepening company to company linkages. I’m proud that we have clearly demonstrated the value we place on our relationship with Guyana by adding a Department of Commerce office in our embassy.  Our Foreign Commercial Service team focuses on helping U.S. companies find the right partner in Guyana to be able to bring new and quality solutions to the marketplace.

From safe devices in healthcare, new technology that boosts agricultural output, valuable education services, and IT hardware and software that can be trusted, American companies enhance their local partner’s offerings and help spur greater economic development.

GMSA is a natural fit for this type of collaboration as many of your members are ideal partners for U.S. firms and can help bring the highest quality solutions to Guyana.

President Ali and I agree that it’s the private sector that often serves as a catalyst for change, and it’s the engine of growth. That is why I’m excited for our embassy to partner with GMSA.

We find ourselves at a unique time in history.  While we see international conflicts and malign actors that seek to disrupt the global marketplace, I remain doggedly confident and optimistic for the future.  If we remain laser focused on advocating for and implementing sound policies and are intentional in having our companies collaborate, I have no doubt our two countries will continue to grow and prosper.

Thank you once again, GMSA, for all that you do in this and so many shared efforts, and for the kind invitation. I look forward to celebrating the remaining award recipients.

Thank you.