Apr 10, 2013 News Comments Off on Jamaican billionaire eyeing investment prospects in Guyana
Over the past two day, a team of investors headed by Jamaica-born Canadian investor and billionaire Michael Lee-Chin has been in Guyana meeting with Government officials about possible investments in the near future.
An international specialist in Financing, Mr. Lee-Chin led the team which was invited by former President Bharrat Jagdeo.
Before leaving for Jamaica yesterday, Mr. Lee-Chin met with media operatives where he spoke about his visit. First the philanthropist said he was pleased with the warm Guyanese hospitality.
He said the agenda was certainly helpful in his team coming to a conclusion that “there is a very long runway of opportunities in Guyana’s economy”.
“We want to be a part of those opportunities and to do what we can to bring capital to the country… and do what we can to bring the requisite expertise; to do what we can to bring more wealth and to enhance the life of the average Guyanese and to make the phenomenal potential that Guyana has not just potential, but a reality.”
He added that he was extremely pleased with the calibre of Government Ministers he met during his visit as they all showed great experience, passion and knowledge in their respective sectors.
“I was impressed with the type of leadership. It is very easy for an investor to make that step to come to Guyana,” Lee-Chin noted.
Further he stated that his team includes officials from the National Commercial Bank of Jamaica and Portland Holdings.
The bank, he said, is eager to find ways to enter the financial service industry of Guyana, while Portland Holdings has a more general approach to investing.
“To start off, we will be looking at the choices and then narrowing it down by virtue of our understanding, Agriculture is definitely an area we want to explore as well as the telecommunication sector, since we see the need for more competition in this area.”
He added that his team will now return to Jamaica and carefully access the possibilities in terms of where they will be heading.
“We are engaged and we will now sit and assess Guyana in relation to where we are going with our portfolio. From what we have seen so far, Guyana will move to the top of the table because of the openness of the Government for investing.”
During the team’s two-day visit, meetings were held with the Ministers of Finance, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
Michael Lee-Chin is a business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He is the founder and chairman of Portland Holdings, a privately-held investment company which owns a collection of diversified operating companies in sectors that include media, tourism, health care, telecommunications and financial services.
Amongst other positions, he is currently executive chairman of AIC Limited, a Canadian mutual fund, and the National Commercial Bank of Jamaica. Lee-Chin’s wealth has been estimated as high as US$2.5 billion, and Canadian Business magazine has named him as one of the richest people in Canada.
In 2003, he made headlines when he donated US$30 million to the Royal Ontario Museum. He also provided a US$10 million gift to the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
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