Guyana continues to press ahead with development of its emerging oil and gas industry and the country’s Business Minister is adamant that government is fully capable of effectively managing this new sector.
“There is a lot of angst perhaps within the local private sector that Guyana’s inexperience in this industry could lead to us maybe getting the short end of the stick. But, I’d like to say that I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Guyana’s Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin said on Wednesday last.
Mr. Gaskin was at the time addressing the formal launch of the inaugural Guyana International Petroleum Business Summit (GIPEX) 2018 held at the Guyana Marriott Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown, on January 17.
Mr. Gaskin told those in attendance, “There is something unfolding that is good for Guyana and we must understand that yes, there are pitfalls in the oil and gas industry…yes, many countries have not been able to reap the maximum benefits from their natural resources.”
He sought to reassure stakeholders that the Guyana government will seek to ensure the country does not make the same mistakes made by other petroleum producing nations. “I think we have learnt a lot from the mistakes of others…We’ve heard a lot about the mistakes of others, we don’t intend to make those mistakes, I can give that assurance.”
Speaking to the Industry stakeholders gathered for the GIPEX 2018 launch, Minister Gaskin used the opportunity to reiterate, “there are a number of interventions that are being made and measures that are being put in place to ensure that Guyana and Guyanese; and that includes our local Private Sector, are made beneficiaries of all that is taking place offshore.”
He said too, “…in that regard, we’ve had over the last two years some amazingly positive results coming out of the exploration activities offshore. I think it augurs well for the future of Guyana’s economy…Not everyone sees this, not everyone feels it….but it’s happening before our eyes.”
Mr. Gaskin’s expression of confidence in the management of the emerging oil industry comes on the heels of similar sentiments expressed by subject Minister Raphael Trotman.
Speaking during a media engagement on Monday last, the Minister under whose portfolio falls the Natural Resources sector reminded, “there are five ministers that are overseeing oil, not just Raphael Trotman…the President has appointed a quintet as he calls it.”
Mr. Trotman at the time sought to emphasize to media operatives, “I have the title of Natural Resources but Minister of Finance (Winston Jordan), he deals with all fiscal and financial matters that pertains to the development of the oil sector.”
He said too, the “Minister of Public Infrastructure (David Patterson) will deal with Infrastructural works not only to prepare for oil but how the money is going to be spent. Minister of Business (Gaskin) is looking at issues of local content and the business interaction with the Private Sector Commission and others, and Minister of State (Joseph Harmon) representing the Ministry of the Presidency.”