Draft local content framework creates space for Guyanese businesses, entrepreneurs

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Business persons, key stakeholders & members of the public register at an oil & gas lecture in Georgetown, Guyana.

As Guyana gears up to become an oil producing country, its government is putting systems in place to ensure local businesses and entrepreneurs are given a fair chance to compete and benefit from opportunities that will arise in the emerging industry.

A draft framework for local content, capacity development and value addition has been developed by Guyana’s Ministry of Natural Resources and is currently being reviewed by stakeholders. The document specifically tells of the government’s desire to have local businesses provide goods and services and support sector operations for the oil and gas industry.

“This policy framework seeks to address the suite of opportunities that may arise and the approaches to be taken in selecting and developing opportunities related to enhancing the capabilities of Guyanese nationals and businesses through…supplier development provisions for goods and services by locals to support sector operations,” the daft framework outlines.

According to the document seen by OilNOW, Guyana is looking to have an implementation strategy characterised by fairness, through ease of access to opportunities, information on the capabilities and availability of its citizens and businesses, and transparency of decision-making.

These, it was stated, will serve to help Guyanese clearly understand the demand which, according to the draft policy framework, includes the full range of possible activities and requisite skills, goods, services, standards and certifications required in conducting the whole business of oil and gas, along its entire value chain, both within and outside Guyana, from exploring for it, to the final use of its end products.

The document specified that very early in the life cycle of operations, the government of Guyana will work with operators, advisors and others to identify and simplify needs and to make them accessible, “so that all Guyanese can have an appreciation of the requirements, scale and scheduling, so as to make good decisions in matters involved, from educating their children or themselves to investing in their businesses or their land.”

OilNOW also reported on April 27, that ExxonMobil plans to open a Business Development Centre in Guyana in July.  Small to medium size businesses will be able to register interest and receive specialized training that would enable them to benefit from business opportunities in the supply chain of the country’s emerging oil and gas sector.

All these initiatives bodes well for Guyanese seeking to become involved at some level in the industry and should help to allay concerns among many, about whether or not they would be given a fair opportunity to participate in the sector.