British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn, says the South American country is about to experience a transformation “beyond all recognition,” with a more affluent consumer base and growing economic opportunities for its population of just over 770,000.
Quinn was among the speakers who participated in the first virtual, and third annual Guyana Aberdeen Gateway, which was held on August 19 and 20, 2020 and streamed live by OilNOW.
“On the economic front…I think the fundamental point is that oil is going to change Guyana beyond all recognition. Those of you who have heard me speak before have heard me say that several times,” he said, citing the latest resource estimate of over 8 billion barrels of oil equivalent in the Stabroek Block.
He noted that Guyana is presently classified as a lower middle-income country with a US$5252 per capita GDP (2019). “That is expected to double to US$10,990 in 2021 that will move Guyana from the 98th position to the 66th. Quite a change,” he said.
A vastly expanded market and significantly wealthier population are the outcomes he predicts for Guyana as oil monies come in. “More affluent consumers and expanded business opportunities in a variety of different areas [are possible],” he pointed out.
He said oil will provide the funding to expand infrastructures such as roads, bridges and provide the impetus for more efficient power generation through natural gas in addition to the strengthening of social welfare.
Quinn told members of the panel that Scottish entities desirous of doing business in Guyana must be sure to create business to business (B2B) links or set up local offices as a means of building partnerships with Guyanese enterprises.
“Just to reinforce, the importance of benefitting the local population and ensuring that as much money as possible stay in Guyana to benefit the local population will be at the forefront of the mind of the new government,” Quinn said.
He made the point that focus should be wider than just oil and gas and with Guyana being covered significantly by forest and known also as the ‘Land of Many Waters’, it is a good opportunity to examine the possibilities in renewables. He said that options for hydroelectricity could be examined within this context.
The newly elected PPP/C administration has long held to the philosophy that Guyana needs to evolve into a low-carbon footprint country which saw it developing what came to be known as the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) that was a central part of its governance in the years prior to 2015.