Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Beharry says he fully supports Guyana’s local content legislation, denies being tasked with lobbying government for changes

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Guyanese businessman Suresh Beharry, Chairman of Edward B. Beharry and Company Limited, said on Thursday he fully supports the South American country’s Local Content Legislation and is in no way playing a role in lobbying the Guyana government for changes to the framework.

Social media posts and news stories in the last 48 hours state that our client, Suresh Beharry, had been “tasked” to intercede with the authorities in Guyana on a matter concerning apparent limits to CARICOM nationals doing business in Guyana, in the context of the recently enacted Local Content Act,” Beharry said in a statement through Public Relations firm, Tagman.  “This narrative is false and misleading. Contrary to these stories, Mr. Beharry was not tasked to advocate for the position contended for by some regional businesses.”

Private sector representatives in Guyana have been expressing outrage over a leaked email from Chairman of the CARICOM Private Sector Organization (CPSO), Gervase Warner, who is quoted as stating that Guyana’s Local Content Law contains several provisions that are in contravention with the Treaty of Chaguaramas. Since this sentiment is shared by the Executive Committee, Warner said the CPSO will raise its concerns with the Guyana Government and then ultimately with CARICOM. Warner also stated in the leaked email that Beharry will assist with the communications strategy to be ferried to the government.

But Beharry said reports to this effect are misleading. “The sum total of his advice to certain entities was that they seek constructive dialogue and engagement with our Government and local stakeholders and to avoid any confrontation or disruptive fallout. In the interest of comity, he was prepared to attempt to facilitate an initial engagement,” the statement said.

It added that, “Mr. Beharry supports Guyana’s Local Content legislation; in particular, as it relates to the nascent Oil and Gas Industry. In fact, like many others, he has contributed to the in-depth discussions on Guyana’s Local content legislation at each of many iterations.”

Further, the statement said Beharry welcomes the provisions, protections, and incentives that are provided for all businesses to invest and grow in Guyana’s oil and gas space.

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