Remarks by Ambassador Theriot at PSC Anniversary Gala and Awards Ceremony

Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Nicole Theriot
Private Sector Commission of Guyana Anniversary Gala and Awards Ceremony
December 19, 2023

Thank you very much, Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Mr. Komal Singh.

His Excellency President Dr. Muhamad Irfaan Ali and Her Excellency First Lady Arya Ali
Minister of Finance, Honorable Dr. Ashni Singh
Minister of Legal Affairs, Honorable Anil Nandalall
Minister of Public Works, Honorable Bishop Juan Edghill
Minister of Natural Resources, Honorable Vickram Bharrat,
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Honorable Oh-Nay-j Walrond,
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works Honorable Deodat Indar
Minister of Public Service Honorable Sonia Parag
Minister within the Ministry of Housing & Water Honorable Susan Rodrigues
Chief of Staff Brigadier Oman Khan
Police Commissioner Clifton Hicken
Members of the Diplomatic Corps, members of the Private Sector Commission, media representatives, distinguished guests

Good evening.

I echo Brigadier Khan in recognizing the brave, stalwart servicemen who recently lost their lives in the line of duty.  On behalf of the entire US government, I offer our sincere condolences to their families and to this entire country.  We are so incredibly sorry for your devastating loss.

As we take time to honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, I’m reminded we must remain unwavering in our commitment to continually improve the lives of the people in both our countries.  A key component of this is to recognize and champion the critical importance of the work done by the private sector all over the world, and the opportunities that arise when we all work together – government, the private sector, and civil society.

With that said, I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to you, Komal, and your executive team for what has been a truly impressive year for the PSC.  Your organization continues to be a leading voice for the private sector, and we are grateful for your collaboration and support of U.S. firms within this incredibly exciting Guyanese market.  I would also like to extend my congratulations to each of the companies here tonight who are receiving awards and commend you for the positive impact you are making in your communities.

The PSC plays an important role in Guyana’s economic diversification.  Your leadership remains key in this.  It is clear from your civic leadership and through your corporate social responsibility initiatives that you have prioritized inclusive growth aimed at uplifting everyone as Guyana’s economy transforms at an incredibly rapid rate.

The United States greatly values being Guyana’s preferred partner.  We are a friend and partner who shows up time and time again, and I can assure you that we will continue to do so.

Tonight, I encourage you to reinvigorate your advocacy efforts and resolve to strengthen this burgeoning economy in 2024 by doing even more.  We need the private sector’s voice in conversations on addressing access to finance and creating greater financial transparency.  I was thrilled to hear at the GCCI gala last week that the Attorney General and his team are working hard on ways to improve access to financing, but more remains to be done.

As you know, the US Embassy engages very actively with the private sector.  Our Political and Economic Section works closely with the PSC, other business associations, and the government to identify and adopt sound policies that enable greater economic growth.  From land permitting to adoption of financial regulations, to innovating in food security and climate change mitigation strategies, this work is crucial for an economy moving towards greater diversification, and it facilitates inclusive growth.

But we also make sure US companies continue to partner with Guyanese ones, and I’m proud that the United States has deepened our engagement on this front by opening a US Department of Commerce office at the Embassy.

U.S. companies need Guyanese partners to be successful here.  By having greater U.S. private sector participation, Guyanese companies can enhance their portfolio of offerings, while also building capacity.

U.S. companies are known for sound business ethics, high quality work, equipping their local partners, and for their commitment to the communities in which they operate, so it’s in all of our interest to promote these relationships.  The PSC is an ideal choice for this collaboration, as many of your members are current & potential partners for U.S. firms.

The holiday season is such a special time here in Guyana, & I hear that the Christmas staple of Pepper Pot requires an integral ingredient, casareep, which infuses ordinary meat with unique Guyanese flavor.  I hope all of you, both in business and government, view the U.S. partnership as that special ingredient in Guyana’s continued success and growth.

Thank you once again, PSC, for all that you do and for inviting me to join you tonight.  Congratulations to the award winners & to the PSC for a very successful year.  Thank you so much!