Local content expert back in Guyana for discussions; policy expected by year-end

0
Local content advisor Anthony Paul meets with CEO of Go-Invest, Owen Verwey, staff, and officials of the Ministry of Natural Resources on November 29, in Georgetown, Guyana.

Advisor on Guyana’s Local Content Policy Framework and UNDP expert, Anthony Paul, is back in the South American country for another round of consultations as work continues on the document that would serve to guide how companies operate in the emerging oil and gas industry.

The policy framework seeks to address the range of opportunities that will arise and the approaches to be taken in order to enhance the capabilities of Guyanese nationals and businesses. Since the first version of the policy framework was completed earlier this year, consultations have been held with a number of stakeholders in an effort to ensure the final document is representative of the views and recommendations which have been shared.

OilNOW spoke with Mr. Paul prior to him meeting with officials at the Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest) on Wednesday, for consultations on the policy framework.

“In the conversations with the business community and other stakeholders around the country it was apparent that we needed to have some more definitions about what some terms meant…what the way forward would be. So, to an extent, the current working version is expanded to cover that,” Mr. Paul told OilNOW.

Even with the amendments made to the draft document so far, the UNDP expert said it continues to be a work in progress and serves as a starting point for more engagement.

“The core of local content is locals and defining that is a work in progress, but essentially means Guyanese getting employed or providing goods and services to the oil and gas sector. That is the core component of local content,” he stated.

Chief Executive Officer of Go-Invest,  Owen Verwey, said as the policy framework evolves it would help to guide the agency on how it facilitates and advises companies looking to invest in the oil and gas sector. “From a Go-Invest perspective and a Government of Guyana perspective…at the moment we ourselves are challenged with some applications for businesses with support in various areas,” he said, referring to how the issue of foreign companies partnering with Guyanese businesses is handled as well as the matter of incentives.

Mr. Verwey stressed that the ultimate objective is to ensure that Guyana benefits from the opportunities that will arise from this new industry.

Guyana is working towards having its local content policy in place by the end of the year.