Instead of putting us on the frontline, foreigners throwing us on the breadline
Kaieteur News – Our governments keep drumming into our heads that foreign direct investment creates jobs and supports local businesses. Yet, they have failed to make it mandatory for these foreign companies to hire local companies which have the capability to supply goods and services required by foreign investors.
When Aurora Gold Mines (AGM), a Canadian entity, decided to downscale its operations, it fired hundreds of local workers and terminated the contracts it had with many local firms that were supplying it with goods and services. Instead of placing our people on the frontline, the company put them on the breadline.
AGM then sold its operations and the rights to our gold to a Chinese firm, Zijin Mining Group. This deal allowed AGM to walk away with US$238M. The new owners also inherited all the duty-free and tax concessions from which AGM benefitted.
To add insult to injury, instead of utilizing the services of a local company which had previously done business with the AGM, Zijin instead contracted a Chinese firm to provide the same services. Local firms instead of benefitting from foreign investment are being shunted aside. These practices defeat the justification for foreign direct investment – creating jobs and supporting local businesses.
Foreign companies come here and benefit from generous tax concessions. They rape our resources and exploit our workers.
They profit handsomely by reselling the rights to these resources and concessions to other foreign firms, which then snub local workers and businesses. This is the reality of foreign direct investment in Guyana.
Wake up Guyana! It is time we bring an end to this crude and cruel exploitation of our workers and local businesses and the plunder of our resources.
It is time for us to take back control of our country’s wealth.