By Ismail Abdulaziz
President Irfaan Ali of Guyana has reaffirmed his Government’s commitment to ensure that local businesses are optimally involved in the oil and gas sector.
He stated this on Tuesday at the Virtual Guyana Oil and Gas Summit.
The two day event will allow for online networking with Guyana’s key stakeholders in the Energy Sector.
Ali noted that the emergence of the oil and gas sector would result in an explosion of opportunities for the people.
He said that it would also require investment, technical skills and capacity on an unprecedented scale.
“We are developing a Local Content Policy and Law which will promote local participation in the sector. The policy is being developed through a consultative process, including through the examination of best practices around the world.”
The President said that while Foreign Direct Investment was essential for capitalising on the opportunities within the sector, it was also vital in building the capacity of the local sector.
“Guyana therefore welcomes foreign investment to help us acquire the capital, the skills and the technology to convert economic transformation into economic opportunities.”
The President said that oil and gas would move Guyana’s development trajectory to a higher level, which represents a “paradigm shift in our country’s development”.
He added that local companies must, therefore, embrace new ways of doing business.
“The old culture of ‘buying and selling’ must give way to one which emphasises production of goods and services and partnering with others to maximise local traction in the sector.
“Local firms must become bold and ambitious – they must think big and think international. They must embrace innovation and inventiveness if they are to compete effectively in the global economy.”
The Oil and Gas Summit, he added, provides an opportunity to begin preparations for the new economy by highlighting the investment opportunities in Guyana.
It also offers local investors the opportunity to establish synergies, build capacities and forge strategic partnerships.
“I assure all that my Government is supportive of investment – foreign and local. We are working to ensure a more enabling environment to boost business in Guyana.”
The President commended Global Future Energy Limited and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) for their partnership in organising the summit, which he acknowledged as an expression of confidence in Guyana’s future.
All speakers and participants at the summit will be remotely connected through an online platform and have access to a unique programme and high-level networking.
The delegates will actively participate in the event through engaging functions, including polling, Q & A, live chats and one-to-one meetings.
The virtual event will set the scene for the Industry’s development in 2021, where participants will be given the opportunity to meet with existing and new contacts, explore the latest policies and guidelines and develop new solutions to advance projects in Guyana.
Other speakers during the two day Summit include Hon Vickram Bharrat, Minister of Natural Resources, Hon Deodat Indar and Minister of Public Works Responsible for Management of Energy Sector.
Other government officials are Hon David Abiamofo Minister of Natural Resources (Suriname), members of the Diplomatic Corps, representatives of the GCCI and key stakeholders in both the local and international oil and gas sector.