Guyana President tells summit country on cusp of economic explosion

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In an address that focused heavily on Guyana’s coming transformation, President of the new oil producing country Dr. Irfaan Ali told participants at the Guyana Basins Summit last week major strides in infrastructure and social services will see the lives of Guyanese significantly improving this decade.

Guyana’s economy grew by some 43.5 percent in 2020 – the fastest in the world – and this has been attributed to the oil industry. President Irfaan Ali says that the sector will play a key role in economic growth which will in turn bolster the standard of living for Guyanese.

“This year, we will continue to fashion a stronger, more resilient and investor-friendly economy,” the President said.

He noted that Guyana’s 2021 National Budget is geared towards human safety, investing in transformative infrastructure, developing world-class services, including social services and laying the groundwork for structural transformation.

“Indeed, what you will see in the next five years is an explosion of housing, construction and the foundation being laid for manufacturing and industrial development,” dr. Ali said. “Our outlook for this year and beyond is extremely promising. Guyanese can anticipate continuous and progressive improvements in their living standards.”

President Ali further posited that the economy will expand and become more competitive and business will thrive.

“Of course, the oil and gas sector is going to be instrumental in our national development framework,” he said. The government, he added, is mindful of its own role as a partner in national development, while underscoring that the development of the country’s natural resources is key to unlocking transformation.

The government has announced the pursuit of an aggressive development agenda that will see a number of large-scale projects including the distribution of thousands of house lots to enable Guyanese to own their own homes, the generation of cheaper energy through a gas-to-power project, new bridges and roads to connect the country, as well as improved education and health care services.

As it is right now, the Natural Resources Fund (NRF) —in which oil revenues have been deposited—stands at over US$267 million. Recently, the country’s Vice President reminded that government is amending the NRF legislation to ensure management of the fund is done in a transparent manner.

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