Suriname and Guyana welcome trans-border financial venture
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Thursday, April 12, 2012 — Assuria NV, the largest insurance company in Suriname, has initiated the first trans-border financial services venture between Guyana and Suriname.
This was realised with the recent launch of its subsidiaries Assuria Life (GY) Inc. and Assuria General (GY) Inc.
Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar and Finance Minister Dr Ashini Singh joined Suriname’s ambassador to Guyana Dr Manorma Soeknandan to celebrate the launch with chief executive officer Assuria NV, Suriname, Stephen Smit; and Dick Wesenhagen, who will function as the general manager of the Guyanese subsidiaries.
Ramotar and Smit toasted Assuria’s entry into the market and Ramotar noted that Assuria's actions aided the further promotion of regional development.
The president said that for a long time the Caribbean people have been talking about attracting foreign investment and of attracting investment beyond the region.
“Now we can speak about investment within our region, investing in each other's economy in order to help generally with regional development,” he said.
He added that this relationship can only allow for opportunities for development of more business ventures and the natural flow of others including the free movement of people.
Ramotar said that regional integration is very crucial now, as many of the region’s most important trading partners in Europe and North America are facing grave financial crisis.
Minister Singh described Assuria's venture into the Guyanese market as a strong vote of the company’s confidence in Guyana's future.
The Guyana government has long regarded a competitive financial sector as an indispensable prerequisite to a growing economy and it is for this reason that it has expended considerable efforts towards putting in place the appropriate legislative framework to ensure the existence of adequate supervisory and regulatory capability to promote growth in the business sector, Singh said.
“I have no doubt Assuria would bring experience, products and network of companies it does business that would ultimately redound to the efficiency of the entire industry,” Singh said.
Alluding to the CLICO experience and the resulting loss of credibility suffered by the insurance industry, Singh urged that Assuria work with the other insurance companies “to help to repair what injury would have been done to the insurance industry.”
Ambassador Soeknandan also said that the action by Assuria may be the concrete starting point in building more intensive relationships that are needed among South America and the Caribbean and Europe and South America.
Soeknandan also expressed confidence that Assuria's entry into Guyana would see an increase in competition in insurance services that would only be to the benefit of the consumers.
Smit said that the launch of the Guyanese operations is part of the company’s strategic plan of being active outside Suriname.
Assuria having identified the opportunity of a trans-border business venture in Guyana is pleased to be the first Surinamese presence in the country, Wesenghagen said, and promised that the venture would definitely lead to further development of the two South American states.