Barama to know fate by August – Trotman
Renewal of investment development dealThe Malaysian-owned Barama Company Limited will by August of this year know its fate as Government willNatural Resources Minister Raphael Trotmandecide whether or not it would continue its operations in Guyana.The company’s 25-year Investment Development Agreement comes to an end in October later this year, and Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman said Government was still to make a decision on the way forward for the company.“Cabinet has given the approval since last year for Government to enter into negotiations with Barama. That has been an ongoing process. We have been meeting pretty often and I hope to lay something before Cabinet by August for its consideration,” the Natural Resources Minister told Guyana Times on Monday.He said following his presentation to Cabinet, a decision would be made.Trotman said Government remained committed and had no difficulties in doing business with foreign companies; however, its criteria were pretty simple.“Respect our laws, respect the people, particularly those who work for you, and respect your agreements that you signed,” he indicated.Government, in February of this year, commenced discussions on the possibility of renewing the $43 billion-dollar investment in Guyana.Late last year, Minister Trotman visited the company’s Buck Hall, Essequibo operations and met with the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Choo Siong Liew; General Manager Mohindra Chand, and Senior Manager with responsibility for Human Resources, Patricia Mingo.During that tour, Chand had reiterated that the company was determined to continue its operations in Guyana, stating that while it was faced with many challenges, it was committed to never closing its operations.Barama’s operations consist of forest management, timber harvesting and manufacturing of various wood-based products such as plywood, sawn timber, and flooring products.The Barama Company established its operations in Guyana in 1991, and is one of Guyana’s biggest employers, employing approximately 1000 Guyanese. It has been allocated some 1.6 million hectares of the State production forest and has been operating the largest forest concession in Guyana.