Brazil­ian in­vestors ey­ing oil and gas sec­tor

Stabroek News - - NEWS -

Min­is­ter of State, Joseph Har­mon yes­ter­day met with a team of Brazil­ians who are in­ter­ested in in­vest­ing in the emerg­ing oil and gas sec­tor.

A re­lease from the Min­istry of the Pres­i­dency said that Yu­catan Reis, Alexan­dre Saverin, Luis Panelli, John For­man, and José Mario de Castilho are the in­vestors ex­plor­ing ar­eas of in­vest­ment in the coun­try’s emerg­ing oil and gas sec­tor. The meet­ing took place at the Min­is­ter of State’s of­fice.

The re­lease said that Har­mon high­lighted in­fra­struc­ture as an area of in­vest­ment that will catal­yse Guyana’s de­vel­op­ment.

“It is a very im­por­tant time in our de­vel­op­ment and in our his­tory and so we re­ally wel­come the in­vest­ments and the op­por­tu­ni­ties be­tween Guyana and Brazil. These op­por­tu­ni­ties are now in­creas­ing on a daily ba­sis… Our phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture is key be­cause we can­not de­velop our coun­try un­less our phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture is or­gan­ised. That means [that] our ports have to be mod­ernised, our road net­work that links the coast to the hin­ter­land will have to be mod­ernised,” he said.

Har­mon also said that strength­en­ing the part­ner­ship be­tween Brazil and Guyana will lift the qual­ity of life for Guyanese. “In some coun­tries a river is a bor­der, but for us the rivers are bridges. We have built bridges over them and there­fore we’ve con­nected our peo­ple in more ways than one. It is this con­nec­tion which, I think, we need to de­velop. We need to im­prove on it so that we can pro­vide a bet­ter qual­ity of life for our peo­ple. Ul­ti­mately that is what our task is as a Gov­ern­ment, to pro­vide that good life to our peo­ple. We are stew­ards of the re­sources of our coun­try and there­fore it is our re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure good stew­ard­ship of it, so that, not only this gen­er­a­tion, but gen­er­a­tions to come will be the bet­ter [from] the de­ci­sions which we make now,” he said.

The re­lease said that Panelli cited the long­stand­ing part­ner­ship be­tween Guyana and Brazil as the main rea­son be­hind Brazil’s keen in­ter­est in in­vest­ing. “It’s im­por­tant for us to be here, not only for geo-po­lit­i­cal rea­sons, but be­cause we’re neighbours… We are very in­ter­ested in join­ing you in this ef­fort to de­velop the [oil and gas] field here. It is go­ing to be a very im­por­tant thing for Guyana and for Brazil… We have the means… we have the per­son­nel and we are very keen on [in­vest­ing],” he said.

Saverin, who vis­ited Guyana four years ago, noted the dif­fer­ent busi­ness cli­mate.

“You see the dif­fer­ence. You see the progress and you see the ex­cite­ment in every­body’s eyes. I think we’re start­ing to see the change in the coun­try where peo­ple are start­ing to open new busi­nesses and tak­ing new risks just with the idea of the oil that is com­ing… We’re ex­cited to be here and we would love to pro­ceed with [in­vest­ment] in oil [and] in in­fra­struc­ture,” he said.

Reis’s in­volve­ment in var­i­ous sec­tors of the econ­omy has raised eye­brows in the past.

Reis had been one of the prin­ci­pals of Muri Brasil Ven­tures Inc which had en­tered an agree­ment in 2012 with the PPP/C gov­ern­ment for highly con­tro­ver­sial min­eral sur­veys of the New River Tri­an­gle in south­ern Guyana. Un­der the Per­mis­sion for Ge­o­log­i­cal and Geo­phys­i­cal Sur­vey, the com­pany had been granted the ex­clu­sive right to con­duct sur­veys for rare earth

Min­is­ter of State Joseph Har­mon is third from right. Yu­catan Reis is at right. (Min­istry of the Pres­i­dency photo)

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