Over 19 Canadian companies are expected to be participating in an oil and gas trade mission to Guyana during the week of September 11-15, which, according to outgoing Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Pierre Giroux, could be the first of many such ventures.
The High Commissioner said while the interest of many of the companies that will be visiting the South American country is primarily in oil and gas, there will be scope for investment opportunities in other sectors. He said serving the oil and gas industry is not only about the direct requirements of the operators but also involves other sectors such as health, environment, telecommunication, infrastructure, among others.
“These companies have a profile that is applicable outside the oil sector. The oil sector is a part of their business, but they can do more,” he told OilNOW during an interview on Wednesday at the Canadian High Commission, in Guyana’s capital, Georgetown.
Mr. Giroux said the objective of these companies is to forge alliances with the Guyanese private sector so that in five year periods, knowledge and expertise can be transferred. “We see this as a long-term investment. This is only the first delegation. If everything goes well, hopefully we will have in the future…lots of missions that go back and forth until the partnerships are created,” he said, adding that this relationship between Guyana and Canada dates back to the 18th century, way before the prospect of the country being an oil producer was even considered.
The mission is being organised by the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil & Gas Industries Association (NOIA), in partnership with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation (TCII)Trade Mission.
Chair of NOIA’s Board of Directors, Andrew Bell, says Guyana’s emerging oil and gas industry offers a range of potential business opportunities for Canadian companies. “Guyana is a frontier area for oil & gas exploration and development and may pose a substantial export opportunity for companies currently active in the Newfoundland and Labrador supply and service sector,” he said.
The Canadian High Commission in Guyana will facilitate the mission, working in collaboration the country’s private sector.
President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Deodat Indar, told OilNOW the Chamber and the various business groups it represents are fully committed to facilitating the upcoming mission. He said based on discussions with representatives of the delegation, the Canadian and Guyanese businesses are on the same page when it comes to matters such as local content and the transfer or knowledge and skills. “We are fully committed to working with these groups to ensure that Guyanese businesses form joint ventures with industry experts and companies already in the oil and gas industry,” he said.
The mission will include pre-mission preparation, an information session, networking reception and business to business (B2B) meetings with companies in the market.
NOIA said Rob Strong & Associates and Caron Hawco Group, out of Canada, will be providing consultancy services to the Canadian mission.