Investment in Guyana: Trinidad private sector group “discussing” comments by Jagdeo

Bharrat Jagdeo

(Antigua News) – The Trinidad and Tobago private sector remained silent on Wednesday August 14, 2019 after Guyana’s Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo criticised Trinidadian investors seeking to do business in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

A spokesman for the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that “the matter is currently being discussed.”.

Jagdeo, speaking at a news conference last Thursday August 8, 2019 referred to the foreign investors as “carpet baggers” adding “there are quite a few coming in from Trinidad and Tobago”.   

He said just recently he was speaking to an unidentified person “who was unguarded and he said he yesterday signed up to get some land from Go-Invest and he is going to get free hold title”.

The Opposition Leader in dismissing statements made by the country’s Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, about the influx of foreign investors and the four per cent growth of the local economy, said land which had been earmarked for a specialty hospital under the previous People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration, had also been sold to Trinidad and Tobago investors.

He said Trinidad and Tobago investors were also entering various areas of the local economy including car rental and movie businesses.

“The Trinidadians are coming in and getting a ton of land here and a lot of them are paying bribes. I don’t have a problem with Trinidadians coming here and investing. Let me make that clear, but not in this period.

“The carpetbaggers are coming,” he said, noting that a team which had recently travelled to Trinidad for an investment conference “has been brokering these arrangements.

“So they meet with the people, they have to give donations over there in Trinidad and they were offered land here now”.
Jagdeo warned that Guyanese nationals would soon become marginalised as a result of the influx, adding “I see all of the taxi companies coming in here from abroad…There is no local content policy.

“I don’t have a problem with people from Trinidad coming here, I believe they have a lot of expertise in the oil and gas sector, you need skill people etc, but they must come in transparently and Guyanese must have the opportunity to access the same resources that they are getting.

“Almost every piece of land that has been divested from GUYSUCO (Guyana Sugar Corporation)…is on the chopping block,” he added.

Guyana is being ranked among the world’s most prospective, underexplored offshore basin, with an estimated 13.6 Bbbl of oil and 32 tcf of natural gas yet to be discovered.

ExxonMobil, along with its junior partner Hess Corp., will bring first oil online by 2020, providing the country with much needed revenue.

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  • kamtanblog  On August 16, 2019 at 5:56 am

    Interesting insider info…
    So has the tiger changed it’s spots !
    Doubt it …
    You set a thief to catch a thief !

    With250.000 registered voters it is academic
    what the influx of mass economic migrants (investors) entering Guyana will change the
    political landscape.
    Caricom/cafifta trading rules need to be
    updated/changed. Not sure on political
    status of caricom members. Rights to reside/vote ???
    Am sure “corruption” is at the top of the political agenda.

    Won’t trust any side of the political spectrum
    with their hidden agendas ! As stated before
    when “cheating is clever” and corruption endemic no anti biotic will cure.
    The laws maker must take the initiative
    and not play catch up with the changes neccessary to address these anti corruption
    Jail a few corrupt senior civil servants/politicians way forward.

    My opinion


  • Curtis  On August 16, 2019 at 8:34 am

    Jagdeo should be the last person to talk about carpet baggers and marginalization. When the PPP were in power, Afro Guyanese were marginalized by the Indo Guyanese in that they owned everything and represented the wealth of Guyana…and still do. The carpet baggers under that regime were the investors that came in from India and China when bribery and corruption were all the rage. I guess he’s upset that he’ll be missing out on the bribes he has suggested that will occur just as he is about the millions that will be coming when the oil boom takes off. Now that he has no alternative but to accept that door to door voters registration will continue, he has now turned his attention to other scare mongering tactics. Money and Power spells Jagdeo.

  • Trevor  On August 16, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    Honestly, these foreigners coming in here are very clannish, including some of the wealthy overseas-based Guyanese who acting like their personality don’t stink.

    What Jagdeo is against is that he is not collecting the bribes. When Jagdeo was in power, Chinese and Indian nationals were coming here and buying up most of the prime real estate in GT and paying local Guyanese $1,000 a day for 8am to 8pm shifts, very low wages!

    Trinidad is also notorious for treating Black Guyanese and Black Jamaicans like dawg at the airport, but Jagdeo isn’t pointing out that, so I’ll criticise him instead.

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