AmCham President calls for diversification of Guyana economy to avert oil curse

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President of the American Chamber of Commerce Guyana Inc. (AMCHAM) Zulfikar Ally, speaking at a business forum in New York on March 2, 2019.

President of the American Chamber of Commerce Guyana Inc. (AmCham) Zulfikar Ally is calling for secure investments of oil revenues and economic diversification in Guyana in order to guard against the pitfalls experienced by some oil-producing nations.

He was delivering a speech at a business forum in New York City on March 2, 2019.

The South American country is on track to commence oil production in early 2020 at a peak rate of 120,000 barrels per day. ExxonMobil and its joint venture partners Hess and CNOOC Nexen have made a record 12 discoveries in Guyana amounting to more than 5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The US oil major, operator in the Stabroek Block, estimates production could surpass 750,000 bpd by 2025 from multiple developments offshore.

“Guyana can avoid being another case study of the infamous resource curse and secure an economy which is adequately insulated from price volatility which follows global market effects. Opportunities for sound investment as I mentioned earlier are therefore not limited to the oil and gas industry and, in fact, serve as a key stabilizing element in the macroeconomic environment,” Ally stated.

He said that the business community is poised to play a crucial role in ensuring the mandate of diversification is achieved through initiatives which promote the growth of non-oil industries.

He stated that with the new income from oil public investment, such as large public and social infrastructure projects, health, education, transportation improvement projects, is expected to increase. “This means that the opportunities for investment related to the oil sector are endless,” he stated.