With a burgeoning petroleum industry, where over 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources have been discovered so far by U.S. oil major ExxonMobil, Guyana is inviting foreign investors to play a major role in the country’s transformation.
President of the South American country, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, in an address to the Association of American Chambers of Commerce and Latin America and the Caribbean (AACCLA) on Thursday, said, “Guyana is about to become the investment colossus of the Caribbean. It will become the region’s most exciting investment destination. Now, therefore is the right time to be doing business in Guyana.” He noted that despite the current pandemic, Guyana’s “prospects have never been brighter or more promising.”
Mr. Ali said among the principal reasons why Guyana is a prime investment destination is the fact that “the country is about to leapfrog its growth and development,” which will spawn untold investment opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
“Guyana is now an oil-producing country, this is our first year of production. Oil production is projected to continue well beyond the next 30 years,” the President told the virtual gathering. “Upstream and downstream investments and the jobs and revenues which these will generate will catapult our economy to a higher level. This year Guyana’s economy is expected to grow by almost 50 percent on account mainly of the startup of oil production.”
He further noted that the IMF estimates that the average annual real GDP growth of the country over the next four years will be in excess of 13 percent. However, he stressed that the country would require private investment to drive economic growth.
In encouraging investors, he pointed to the investor-friendly provisions that the country has, saying, “Guyana’s constitution specifically protects the right of foreigners to own property or land in Guyana. foreign and domestic firms possess the rights to establish and own businesses, enterprises and engage in all forms of remunerative activities.”
He pointed out that Guyana’s growing oil industry provides numerous opportunities for investors. “The scale of these investments represents a major business opportunity especially for businesses involved in this sector and those providing support services.”
He noted that the investments by ExxonMobil in the Liza Phase 1 development involves an estimated US$3.5 billion while Liza Phase 2 is projected to be more than US$6 billion. Meanwhile, the recently approved Payara development is pegged at US$9 billion.
“Apart from their direct impact, these investments will provide spin off effects to the local economy and for local businesses,” Mr. Ali said, reiterating that Guyana needs foreign direct investments to drive growth and its transformative agenda.