INVESTORS from China and Saudi Arabia are among several others who have expressed interest in investing in the local sugar industry, which is being transformed through diversification and privatisation.
Over the years, the sugar industry has declined and in an effort to return it to viability, the government was forced to retrench workers as part of wider reform.
The National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), through its Special Purpose Unit (SPU) took control of the Skeldon, Rose Hall, Enmore and Wales estates when government decided to close operations early this year.
Since January 2018, the SPU was tasked with having the estates valuated and ready for sale, but Finance Minister Winston Jordan believes that in order to add to the process of selling the estates, or at least attracting a buyer(s), the two estates should be reopened.
“Initially, in the first round there were approximately 70 investors. In the second round, which is still ongoing for a fixed proposal, we have in the region of 20, but this process will be open until the end of this month, so let’s see what happens and what the numbers will be at the end of the month,” said Head of the SPU, Colvin Heath-London in an invited comment on Tuesday.
In addition to the investors from China and Saudi Arabia, there were expressions of interest from investors in India, South Africa, Australia and Latin America.
Based on the expressions of interest the SPU received, they observed that most stakeholders want to produce sugar-related products at the closed estates, except for Wales, which is on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD).