Months after the passing of Guyana’s landmark Local Content Act, Chairman of the Building and Infrastructure sub-Committee of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Edward Boyer is urging businesses to report promptly, cases in which capable Guyanese are overlooked for foreigners in the distribution of contracts for goods and services.
“The sub-Committee implores all businesses to be vigilant and where there are supplies or services that can be obtained locally but are being sourced from non-domestic sources, bring it to the attention of the Private Sector Commission or the Local Content Secretariat so that affirmative action can be taken,” Boyer said.
The Secretariat is a mechanism introduced by the Act, which will monitor compliance with its requirements.
Boyer made the comments in a note for the Commission’s Annual Report. The veteran businessman noted that while the PSC welcomes the Local Content Act’s enshrining of quotas for 40 categories of services into law, the view is held that there are many other areas that can be serviced by the domestic economy.
He noted however that because the oil and gas sector is capital intensive, it becomes difficult for Guyanese businesses to get a piece of the pie because they have been historically unaccustomed to the scale of required investments for the sector.
“The sub-Committee is advocating that local businesses form themselves into consortia to access the large contracts, by pooling resources and skills together,” Boyer said.
He explained that in the current massive expansion of the economy, local businesses will have to see each other as partners and not competitors. NRG Holdings Inc, Boyer said, has shown how effective this model can be. The company is a consortium of Guyanese businesses, formed to build a multi-billion-dollar facility called the Port ofVreed-en-Hoop. It will service the oil and gas industry and play a tremendous role in a plan to revolutionise Guyana’s maritime sector.
On the topic of financing for businesses, Chair of the Finance and Economics sub-Committee of the PSC, Timothy Tucker, said the PSC has engaged the government, banks and key stakeholders to improve access, and that it will continue to do so.