The African Export-Import Bank has indicated plans to examine Guyana’s financial structures and identify areas that need to be enhanced to better service the local private sector.
In November this year, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) met with Delegates from the Africa Caribbean Business Council Private Sector comprised of representatives from African Private Sector investors.
GCCI President Timothy Tucker says building access to finance in Guyana was at the centre of discussions with the representatives of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
“We are understanding of the difficulties that the local business community would have accessing those loans and that finance facility. They have committed to taking a look at the financial structure and issues within Guyana and of course the wider community and looking to bridge any gaps that there are.”
Tucker stated this aligns with work Guyana is currently doing to ratify membership within the Afreximbank.
The Afreximbank, earlier this year, highlighted plans for a Caribbean Exim Bank. This is expected to benefit the regional private sector by bolstering cooperation and enabling Caribbean and African business communities to establish new commercial and strategic relationships to expand trade
It will also enhance Government-Business relationships between Africa and the Caribbean and increase inter-regional trade and investment leads through effective business matchmaking.
Rene Awambeng, Director and Global Head of Client Relations at Afreximbank, mentioned the existence of investors in Africa interested in the mining, oil and gas, and construction sectors and the need for the Chamber’s help in identifying key institutions for joint ventures.
He further expressed interest in understanding the Chamber and how foreign investors can collaborate with its seven hundred (700) member companies.
The bank performs a full range of duties including bank advisory, strategy and international cooperation, finance, credit services and trade financing. He shared that the bank’s interest is not to compete with local banks but to simply facilitate industrialisation and export development in Guyana.
Tucker emphasised that local commercial banks must also work to improve the services they provide as Guyana develops.
“Local banks need to pay keen attention to these bigger banks coming in because at the end of the day they can either collaborate with these banks in terms of bringing the access to finance at a micro level or they can watch these banks come and offer it in other agencies and through other formats.”
All parties in attendance highlighted the need for regulatory reform to enable proper banking and trade structure in Guyana.