Atiq Juma Nasib (R) of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry receiving George Hallaq, presidential envoy of Guyana. Photo: Emirates News Agency
By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor
DUBAI, UAE -- In a bold move to solicit Middle East investment and especially from Gulf countries, Guyana will open a trade mission in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and also host the first Caribbean-Gulf Forum in November.
This was disclosed when George Hallaq, Guyana’s Middle East envoy and his business delegation met on Monday with Atiq Juma Nasib, senior director, Commercial Services Sector, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
They discussed ways of strengthening trade between Guyana and the UAE. During the meeting, Hallaq said that Guyana will open soon a commercial representative office in Dubai representing Guyana as well as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which he said will help attract Dubai investors to Guyana and to highlight Dubai's investment potential to the Guyana and Caribbean business community.
He invited the Dubai Chamber to participate in the first ever Caribbean-Gulf Forum, which will be held in Guyana in November 2012 and will provide an ideal platform for UAE businesses to discuss bilateral cooperation with their Caribbean counterparts and to make their presence felt in the region.
Hallaq highlighted the investment potential offered by his country's free market, trade and infrastructure, especially in the management of ports and airports, and tourism and real estate sectors.
Nasib welcomed the decision to open a Guyana commercial representative office in Dubai, which he said will go a long way in cementing bilateral ties between the two countries, as well as Dubai's relationship with CARICOM.
Nasib assured the visitors of the Dubai Chamber's assistance in setting up businesses for Guyana as well as the members of the Caribbean Community and also highlighted the Chamber's latest initiative of reaching out to emerging markets of the world that includes Guyana as well, he said.
According to the Emirates News Agency, Dubai's non-oil trade with Guyana reached AED 7.4 million in the first five months of 2012, and there is ample scope for both sides to enhance their trade cooperation. And this could possibly increase with Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar’s new thrust to build institutions that will foster stronger economic ties with the Arab Gulf -- a trade mission in Dubai, the opening of an embassy in Kuwait, the appointment of honourary consuls between Guyana and Saudi Arabia and the appointment of Dr Odeen Ishmael to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and to other Gulf states soon.