1.1 Why do Business

Why Guyana?

  1. Natural Resources

Guyana is a country of vast, often untapped, natural resources. Endowed with extensive savannahs, productive land and forests, rich mineral deposits, gold, bauxite and diamonds, abundant water resources and Atlantic coastline, the country presents dynamic business opportunities across multiple sectors of the economy. While recognized globally as a sugar and rice producer, much of its agricultural potential is yet to be realized, especially with regard to fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. Its forestry potential is just beginning to be realized, particularly in the realm of value-added wood products. Its extensive network of rivers and Atlantic coastline provide ideal conditions for both seafood and aquaculture. Finally, its pristine environment, unspoiled rainforest and exotic fauna and natural attractions, which include the famous Kaieteur Falls, the highest single drop waterfalls in the world, makes Guyana a highly attractive location for eco- and adventure tourism.

  1. Location

Guyana’s unique geographic positioning and its socio-political heritage put it at the gateway of South America and the Caribbean. On one hand, its Caribbean and English-speaking heritage enables Guyana to be part of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), while on the other, it is a South American country, neighbouring two of the most important economies on the continent – Brazil and Venezuela. As a result of its geographic proximity, Guyana has easy access to 277 million consumers, and a US$130+ billion export market with an overall purchasing power of over US$2 trillion.

  1. Duty Free Market Access

Through a combination of regional, bilateral and preferential agreements, about 75 percent of Guyana’s exports enter destination markets duty free, with many others receiving duty-reduced access. This is achieved through Guyana’s membership of CARICOM, which provides duty-free access to the 15-nation CARICOM market, CARICOM agreements with the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba and Venezuela, partial scope agreements with Brazil and Venezuela, and bilateral agreements with Argentina, China and Turkey. Guyana also benefits from preferential duty-free or reduced-duty access to major developed country markets through CARIBCAN (Canada), the U.S. Caribbean Trade Partnership and the European Union’s (EU) ACP Contonou Agreement.

  1. Language

Guyana is the only English-speaking nation in South America. Investors contemplating the installation and operation of service enterprises will find this a distinct advantage. This is especially true for those involved in the growing IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) markets in North America, as well as businesses conducting operations to support the activities of large corporations worldwide, and those serving English-speaking tourism markets.

  1. Affordable Labour

Guyana has one of the most competitive wage rates when compared to Latin America and the Caribbean. The labour force is well educated, with literacy estimated at close to 99 percent, and is regarded as trainable and hard working.

  1. Openness to Investment

Both public and private sector leaders have declared Guyana ‘open for business’. Foreign investors receive the same treatment as domestic investors. Guyana provides an array of across-the-board investment incentives, including a flat business tax rate, tax holidays, waivers of customs duties, export tax allowances, and unrestricted repatriation of profits, as well as additional incentives in priority export sectors. Furthermore, Guyana’s investment promotion agency, GO-Invest, provides effective support to investors before, during and after an investment has been realized.

  1. Trade Agreements
  • Caribbean Single Market and Economy/CARICOM,
  • CARICOM-Colombia,
  • CARICOM-Costa Rica,
  • CARICOM-Cuba,
  • CARICOM-Dominican Republic,
  • CARICOM-Venezuela,
  • Argentina,
  • Brazil,
  • People’s Republic of China,
  • Turkey and Venezuela.
  1. Preferential Trade Arrangements
  • E.U. African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Agreement
  • U.S. Caribbean Trade Partnership (CTP, previously Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI))
  • CARIBCAN (Canada)
  1. Bilateral Investment Agreements
  • People’s Republic of China, Cuba, Germany and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  1. Double Taxation Treaties
  • Canada,
  • CARICOM countries,
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.