Louisiana business group makes trade mission to Guyana
Guyana, an oil-producing country on South America’s north Atlantic coast, received a November visit from a Louisiana trade delegation looking to foster connections and pursue business.
The Louisiana District Export Council in November convened the delegation of 30, which included representatives from Louisiana Economic Development, the Southern Regional Minority Supplier Development Council, the South Louisiana Economic Council, the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. and the International Trade Administration’s Louisiana office. Led by LDEC member Marc Hebert, a partner with Jones Walker LLP, the delegation was joined by LDEC executive secretary Erin Butler, who also serves as director of the International Trade Administration’s Louisiana office.
The group spent three days on site visits and in meetings with private-sector contacts and government officials, a news release said. They had a private roundtable with Guyana’s president, Irfaan Ali, and visited with the U.S. ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch.
Site visits included a trip to Louisiana company Edison Chouest’s facility at G Port in Georgetown; a visit to Schlumberger’s facility adjoining the Guyana Shore Base; and a tour of Demerara Distillers Limited, one of the leading manufacturers in Guyana.
Offshore production has been ramping up in the country, which is also developing wind, hydro and solar resources and a natural gas plant, according to media reports.
Beyond offshore energy business, “I also see opportunities for meaningful collaborations in agribusiness, education, workforce development, hospitality, telecom, logistics and more,” said Onika Jervis, a member of the delegation who was born in Guyana and is now principal of Maraka Consulting of New Orleans.
Hebert said he sees “tremendous growth taking place in the Guyana over the next several years in all sectors of the market, not only oil and gas.”
“Given close cultural and economic ties, Louisiana is poised to be a major player in the world’s fastest-growing economy – from Guyanese workers training in Louisiana to more Louisiana companies forming joint ventures to operate in Guyana to help accelerate market growth,” said Hebert, who represents corporate clients in energy and other matters before U.S. federal and state agencies, Congress and foreign governments.
The meetings resulted in “concrete business proposals that we are actively pursuing,” said Tom Ramsey of MCM Global, the New Orleans-based subsidiary of Morgan Chase Management, which offers food service and management capabilities for base camps and other installations worldwide.
“If our follow-up meeting in January is as fruitful as our initial meeting in November, we could be well on our way to establishing partnerships and joint ventures that could redefine our company’s international plans,” Ramsey said.
It’s not the first time south Louisiana has met with Guyana. LED and Lafourche Parish economic and port officials visited with chamber of commerce representatives from Guyana’s capital, Georgetown, at on Offshore Technology Conference in Houston last year.