President envisions one-stop arrangement for remigrants

Guyana Chronicle
October 9, 1999

PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo wants to set up an office for remigration, under a one-stop arrangement, which will offer all the services needed by remigrants when they first return to the country.

"This is so they don't have to go to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finance and three other agencies to get the (necessary) permission... They can go to an office for remigration and get all the requisite permission from that office," he said Friday at a Presidential Secretariat press conference.

Emphasising that there is need to make remigration easier, the President stated: "We need to help them reintegrate into our country."

Just back from a visit to New York, where he addressed Guyanese, he indicated to told them they can come home and make very small investments, adding that if one examines Guyana's balance of payments, on average, for the last 15 years, private capital inflows into the country per annum is about US$50M.

President Jagdeo pointed out that if Guyana can mobilise 200 Guyanese investing US$500,000, the private capital flows can double.

"We discussed things such as skills training, but things are not institutionalised... We have a lot of skilled people overseas: they want to volunteer when they come home, in a particular field, but when they come here, they would try to see a Permanent Secretary or Minister, but the officials might be too busy," the President observed.

He acknowledged that by the time the holidaying Guyanese finally sees an official, it is time for him to leave the country.

Consequently, the President is looking at the establishment of a placement agency so that if any Guyanese wants to volunteer in such a unit when he returns, he can contact this body.

The President said he told the Guyanese overseas that he wants to focus more on information flows to them.

According to him, he discussed a number of measures that could help to make life easier for Guyanese investors when they come home.

"I have suggested that maybe they run voluntary offices on Brooklyn and Queens where they can have link-ups with Go-Invest and the rest of the Government," he said.

Under the proposed scheme, Guyanese would be able to walk into the office based in their own communities, instead of going to the consulate in Manhattan, and have all the information that they need on Guyana.

President Jagdeo noted that these voluntary offices can provide information on incentive regimes and other issues.

"Already, I have gotten commitments from the Brooklyn community that they will set up such an office and they will run it with volunteers...similarly in Queens. I hope that that could be done," he said.

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