We are a Guyanese company that has invested millions in the local economy, providing several jobs to Guyanese, jobs that would have otherwise gone to other countries. Yet, for two and a half years, we could not get permits to expand our project. On some very specious grounds. We sat and watched and waited while jobs and valuable revenue were lost from the country’s economy. We appealed to the higher authorities in the government and were greeted with concerned looks, officious glares, sincere apologies and promises to rectify the situation at the earliest opportunity. All the while, we lay entomb-ed in permitting hell while favoured entities had their own proposals green-lighted, proposals I should note that have yet to be launched.
Three weeks after the current administration assumed office we, along with a few other companies that were also caught in the dragnet, were summoned for a meeting with government authorities to address our concerns. Our applications were tightly scrutinised to ensure that the right procedures were followed, and then within two further months we received our permits with the appropriate caveats and conditions. No favours were asked, none were given, the entire process was done in as transparent a manner as could be possible.
The contrast with the last administration could not be more stark. The people we dealt with in this government were all highly informed and engaged, and each was motivated for the country’s interest. The other side was populated with bloviating schemers or well-intentioned fools. I inwardly cringe to think where our country would have been if they had bludgeoned their way to remain in power. Guyana dodged a major bullet. However, the damage that they have done is not as transient and temporary as we may believe. One of our projects had to be abandoned because the foreign company that was earmarked to work with us told us in no uncertain terms, despite our many entreaties, that because of the post-election trauma they will never do business with Guyana anymore.
(Name and address supplied)