Guyana Chronicle – GUYANA is poised to become the most exciting investment destination in the Western Hemisphere, President, Dr Irfaan Ali, said on Wednesday
The Head of State made this pronouncement during his address at the opening of the Guyana Basin Summit 2021 (GBS) which was held virtually.
The event, which is aimed at creating investment and development opportunities in the Guyana-Suriname Basin, brings oil and gas leaders and the global energy community together during the virtual edition (17-19 March), before a physical conference is held in October in Georgetown.
“We welcome investment in the Guyana Basin as well as the multiple opportunities it will spawn within our economy… I want to take just a few moments to say to all potential investors that you need to come, you need to explore, and you need to look holistically at the varied opportunities in Guyana.
Whether it is large-scale agriculture production, whether it is mining, whether it is forestry, whether it is in the healthcare system, the education system; you need to understand the varied opportunities Guyana offers for different types of investors. It is not only about oil and gas, oil and gas has really brought attention to Guyana, a sleeping giant in investment opportunities.”
President Ali noted that while the summit is not necessarily confined to oil and gas, the sector will become a focal point during deliberations.
“In this context, the Guyana Basin is an important national resource. In terms of endowment, we have estimated that total Basin potential is around twice our proven reserves. Economically, this is important and further solidifies our position as a lucrative emerging petroleum state.”
He added that his Government intends to maximise on the many business opportunities that exist along the value chain of the country’s fledgling petroleum sector, while expanding drilling, exploration and production activities.
The President emphasised that while his Government is clear on the fundamental principles which will guide the development of Guyana’s natural resources sector, it is important for prospective and potential investors to have similar clarity.
“Our natural resources are part of our people’s patrimony. As such, these resources must be used for, and rebound to, the benefit of the people of Guyana. This is the fundamental starting point for the development of our natural resources. And it underpins our policy resource development model.”
He acknowledged that the country’s resources, however, are useless if they remain unexploited, and therefore, foreign and local capital is necessary to convert its natural resources into wealth and to generate jobs.
“As such, Guyana welcomes private investment…. Investment remains pivotal to shared prosperity. We simply lack the scale of financial, technological and human resources needed for our ambitious economic development plans. We need investment to drive our development.”
President Ali pointed out that it is necessary for the local private sector to become more involved in the planned economic transformation, and to grow and develop through synergies and partnerships with foreign businesses. To enable this, he pointed to the importance of the draft local content policy and law, which is aimed at spurring a stronger and more robust local business environment.