Apr 13, 2021 News
Kaietuer News – Guyana’s Foreign Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Robert Persaud, believes that the Diaspora cannot be excluded from any development plans for the country, with regards to its emerging Oil and Gas sector.
This, Persaud opined, is given the enormous potential that exists in the Diaspora and not domiciled in-country.
He was at the time engaged in a panel discussion on ‘Labour and Migration’ in Guyana which was hosted by the American Chambers of Commerce in Guyana (AmCham). He underscored that several countries across the world have turned to their respective Diaspora populations, not only for political purposes but economical development.
As such, he announced that Guyana is currently pursuing a ‘Migration Policy’ for the country that would guide the inflows of the domestic labour market and deal with inherent issues of citizenship.
Pressing the incorporation of members of the Diaspora as a priority in national developmental plans, Persaud underscored that the Diaspora is teeming with not only skills currently in demand in the country but with capital support that could be honed for domestic investments.
He pointed too, to remittances and reiterated, it would be a mistake to not include the critical contributor in any short, medium and long-term formulation of policy.
According to Persaud, the anticipated boom in the emerging oil industry in Guyana is also being seen as a boom for those in the Diaspora looking to invest or contribute.
Building on the promulgation of a migration policy, he noted a commitment to best incorporate migrant labour into the domestic economy, in order to not only ensure humane treatment of migrants but to ensure the domestic population is not affected by Xenophobic tendencies.
According to Persaud, there must also be the acknowledgement of the skills gap locally and how best to source this from the Diaspora and elsewhere.
On the matter of migrants entering Guyana, the Foreign Secretary underscored that the reality is that migrant of all persuasions are “at our door steps”.
He said that in addition to ensuring migrants are in fact treated humanely, the administration is also acutely aware of the importance of labour, migration and the potential impact on the country’s growth.
As such, he noted that the proposed migration policy is a document in which “we want to ensure that as we embark on this difficult task of managing these prospects and targets, we ensure positive results for both natives and migrants.”
The Foreign Secretary’s position was voiced following the announcement of a major virtual Diaspora conference, which is to be held next month.
The conference will see the participation of President Irfaan Ali as a featured guest.
Persaud said key agencies like the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest) will participate.
According to the Foreign Secretary, the conference is seen as one part of forging ahead with the government’s plan of engaging and involving the Diaspora to support its national development priorities.
He said with the work done in recent months, the recently reintegrated Diaspora Unit was able to detect interest in the Diaspora and will use the conference to start the level of engagement needed.
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