There has been a shortfall in the services sector in Guyana and sloth in the due diligence the application process for investors in Guyana, which has led to loses in 2018. This is according Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), Owen Verwey.Addressing a press conference at Duke Lodge on Monday, Verwey noted that despite successes for the agency in 2018, there were certain “shortfalls”, particularly in the services sector. “We have seen some shortfall there especially in the services sector, where we expected earlier activities as to relates to that. I think we are now seeing that level of activity picking up significantly to develop the first oil part of it,” he stated.He said too that there was some sloth in the due diligence process that has resulted in these shortfalls but that will be addressed. As such, the agency has put in place a process to look at realistic applications in ensuring that they are validated. According to Verwey, in 2018 Go Invest generated investments totalling $89.4 billion in facilitated investments and $52.2 billion from 56 executed investments across all platforms and sectors of local Guyanese economy.He revealed that based on the investor figures, these investments are expected to create 1644 jobs when the projects are fully operational. These new jobs and associated training opportunities will increase Guyana’s human resource capabilities in agriculture, light manufacturing, tourism, services, forestry and energy.Addressing a press conference at Duke Lodge on Monday, Verwey noted that for the 56 executed investments, 38 were local, 15 were Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and three were joint ventures. The FDI agreements were mainly within the agriculture, services and manufacturing sectors, along with one in Information and Communication Technology.“GO-Invest also made substantial progress in promoting Guyana’s exports in international markets in 2018. The agency matched 56 local businesses with overseas clients. These were involved in the supply of gold, diamonds, coffee, coconut oil, heart of palm, pepper, fruit pulp, dressed lumber, noodles, beverages, and clay brick among other products,” he explained.To complement these activities, Verwey said GO-Invest completed a robust programme of inward and outward missions that year to explore mutually beneficial investment opportunities and implement trade-related activities aimed at obtaining new markets and increasing exports.This resulted in 36 Guyanese entrepreneurs in the agro-processing, mining and tourism sectors attaining direct access to selected export markets offering the best sale opportunities for their products and services. The missions resulted in significant gains for both large and small enterprises with new markets secured for ventures of all sizes.“Overall, the agency facilitated the improvement of local exporters’ marketing, networking, and monitoring tools and capabilities. This involved the creation of synergistic business links, allowing local exporters to collaborate easily and securely with their international clients and build capacity in vital aspects of business, such as improving product design and quality and enhancing productivity,” he added.At present, GO-Invest is preparing for several major events including GIPEX 2019. It is also involved in the ongoing training of exporters in order to get them ready for international trading along with translation and distribution of brochures about investments and exports.The agency is engaged in hiring consultants for the Trade and Investment Framework and the Investment Review and Export Strategy under the National Quality Infrastructure Project.