By Dialogo June 06, 2012 This initiative was organized by NAVSO, the mission of which focuses on facilitating the exchange of information and promoting cooperation with the regional navies, and the merchant-marine community of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Eastern Pacific. This SOUTHCOM component operates as an information channel focused on the security of maritime trade and the commitment to support the shipping industry. The naval division of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) held a seminar to address maritime security strategies in Central America. The forum, Central American Maritime Safety and Security Challenges: A Cooperative Response, was organized in Managua, Nicaragua, by the Maritime Liaison – Latin America of the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO), working jointly with the Nicaraguan National Maritime Authority and the Central American Maritime Transportation Commission. The meeting’s objective was to inform and educate both government and military institutions and the private sector about immediate, potential, and long-term maritime security problems and their impact on aspects related to the facilitation of trade. The chief point of the seminar consisted in strengthening lasting partnerships based in the maritime community in order to foster shared ideas and objectives in relation to security and stability. More than 120 maritime security experts, including representatives from NAVSO and other U.S. institutions and members of the Joint Interagency Task Force – South, the Nicaraguan National Maritime Authority, the Central American Maritime Transportation Commission, the Nicaraguan Army’s Naval Force, and the Central American Integration System attended the event. The Nicaraguan Chamber of Commerce; the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America; the National System for Disaster Prevention, Mitigation, and Response; and representatives from the maritime security authorities of Honduras and Guatemala also participated.
…only executed $12.5B for first halfThe Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) is expecting $107 billion in investments by the end of this year, but figures from that agency demonstrate that only $12.5 billion in projects have been executed for the first six months.Chief Executive Officer of GO-Invest, Owen Verwey, made this announcement on Thursday while noting that while it is indeed a slow start, most of the projects which would reach in benchmark amount are in the pipeline to be executed in the latter part of the year. For the 20 investment agreements that were completed, 12 of them are said to be local, five are foreign, and three are joint ventures.“The agency expects to facilitate or work on investment-related activities somewhere around the $107 billion mark for the year. From January to June, we facilitated and executed a $12.5 billion in investments. Those numbers reflect a slower start than expected. There are quite a few projects that are in the pipeline that we have been entertaining and facilitating discussions with.”So far, a number of projects have been approved, which will add to the future investments. Upon approval, the projects are referred to other partnering agencies, which will complete their part.Verwey divulged that some partnerships have been established among the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC), the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) and the BusinessChief Executive Officer of GO-Invest, Owen VerweyMinistry.He further said, “The Guyana Revenue Authority and GO-Invest work in partnership to deal with investment incentives as (they) relate to the exemption of import duties and taxes, and as (they) relate to fiscal incentives for tax holidays and other things like that.”Over 500 potential investors or exporters were mentioned as those who are seeking assistance to execute their trade and for the projection assumptions, it is expected that investments will be made in the agriculture sector, since agro-processing businesses are on the increase. Nine local businesses in this sector have been supported, and the aforementioned five foreign projects were are also within this sector.Additionally, the agency is under the assumption that the decision taken by Barama Company Limited to end its forestry operations would result in the availability of that concession to investors. As such, investments are in process.From discussions with the NICIL-SPU regarding the privatisation of lands from the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) estates, GO-Invest is expecting that there will be accommodation for private bargaining in the four estates, since these efforts will be exceeding in the second half of 2018.Meanwhile, more shore-based activities and local participation of business in the oil and gas sector are anticipated. When asked about the areas which were of interest to foreign investors, Verwey highlighted that many are interested in the acquisition of temporary lands. However, he was uninformed of the zones which might be of interest.“One of the big areas is land. They are looking for land for their operation, and in some cases the land is not permanent. They need it for two to three years only, and after that something different. At this stage, they need the land for the piping and other related activities.”The GO-Invest CEO posited that there has been a continuation in the amount of investments that were made throughout the years, and the figure continues to increase by a positive fraction.“It continues on a trend that started and we thought would’ve either slowed or stabilised between 2017 and 2018, but it continues to increase significantly. Interest is strong, and people are continuing to look into this direction for investment opportunities,” he explained.One of the challenges being faced right now is manufacturers not being standardized, or the other necessary requirements that are important to an emerging oil and natural gas sector.Up to this time, 47 businesses have been matched with foreign clients for the supply of gold, diamond, coffee, coconut oil, heart of palm, peppers, fruit pulp and clay bricks in exports for the time being magnified.In 2017, the agency had projected some $154 billion, which was estimated to create some 5,725 jobs.