May 14, 2021 Letters
It is unfortunate and intolerable that our esteemed ministers were insulted, but we must make our decisions with a calm mind. The recent expulsions of foreign executives involved in the illegal Superior Concrete factory in Houston are worrying. I am surprised that legal proceedings and heavy fines were not the next step in addressing this issue. We must be cautious to not create the impression that Guyana is not investor friendly and reverting back to the days of nationalisation of foreign investments. Substantial fines, a public apology and a suspension of business activities while replacements are sent for those executives that are no longer welcome on our shores should be considered.
Guyana remains open for business and foreign direct investment. Play by the rules and reap the benefits should be the takeaway from this experience. We must stay ahead of the potential negative publicity in the business class that could result from this incident. The head of the parent company should be invited by GO-Invest to make amends and given an opportunity to present a solution for this serious issue. In addition, our permit and monitoring processes need to be more efficient in preventing illegal business activities from getting this far. Superior Concrete has been at this project for a while and the GO-Invest office is one of the best agencies that can be used to raise a red flag on the issues mentioned, whether it be visa renewals for executives or business permits for each phase of an investor’s project. After fines are paid and apologies made, if Superior Concrete is willing to incur the additional expense, we should consider helping them find a more suitable location for their project. Guyana must ensure our business environment continues to be viewed as favourable to foreign investment. Otherwise, our economy could unravel and experience much slower growth than is currently forecast.
Mr. Jamil Changlee
The Cooperative Republicans of Guyana
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