Opposition parliamentary party, the Alliance For Change (AFC) is insisting that crime is the main deterrent to investments in Guyana.
This is despite claims otherwise by the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Donald Ramotar, has described the AFC’s negative position on investors coming into Guyana as “absolute nonsense.”
Ramotar opined that even though there should be more investors entering Guyana, the absence of large scale investors “has to do with infrastructure”.
This was a response to Chief Executive Officer of the AFC, Peter Ramsaroop, who had said that the current crime situation and general absence of rule of law are warding off any massive investments in the agriculture sector.
Yesterday, the AFC maintained its position. The party said it sees the Diaspora as a key resource for skills, ideas and investments for the development of Guyana.
“The Diaspora is most influenced by crimes. Importantly also, the Diaspora is influenced by the fact that too many crimes/murders are never solved and too few criminals are convicted,” the AFC stated.
These important and valuable Guyanese will never return home as long as there is no credibility in the police, the AFC added.
Crimes also retard business formation, the party said, while it was noted that drug dealers can launder funds while legitimate businesses must borrow from the commercial banks at 15% interest rate.
“Legitimate business folks have also been threatened and killed by the drug pushers,” the AFC claimed.
Crime, the party stated, also destroys and corrupts key institutions that are needed for development; such as the legal institutions.
“Investments are retarded because of the lack of strong laws and the enforcement of these laws. Take for instance the infringement of copyright in Guyana. It has killed the creative and cultural industries. Why write a poem, a song or story when others will abuse them?”
The party said serious crimes also force our people to migrate.
“Many of these Guyanese are educated, technically skilled, investors and entrepreneurs. Therefore, crimes lead to shortage of investors/risk-takers and depletes our human capital,” the AFC stated.
The AFC is of the view that the following are the key binding constraints that impede investments in Guyana: (i) Lack of infrastructure (energy and other infrastructure like farm to market roads). (ii) Lack of reasonable financing. (iii) Crime and the lack of credibility within the police force. (iv) A severe shortage of human capital. (v) Lack of suitable institutions/laws (and the enforcement of these laws) that can stimulate the creative and cultural industries. (vi) A limited role and focus on research and development.
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