The Centre for Local Business Development will this year be focusing on the improvement of the technical capacity of local businesses, and their plans are being supported by ExxonMobil’s Greater Guyana Initiative—a US$100 million commitment to capacity building by the Stabroek Block operator and co-venturers Hess and CNOOC.
The Centre has over 3000 local businesses within its Supplier Registration Portal platform, and the organisation is mandated to work towards the development and improvement of Guyanese businesses.
Director at the Centre, Dr. Natasha Gaskin-Peters said for 2021, the Centre is focusing on building the technical capacity of businesses. “We have seen tremendous growth among the Guyanese companies and so, later this year, we are going to launch our Project Management Course to really help those businesses.”
The objective of the course is to ensure that Guyanese businesses are able to transition from being awarded contracts, to delivering a final product to the client that is of a high-standard and in keeping with requirements. “We are also going to continue the access to finance programme because we have recognised that there is need for financing,” she stated.
Further, the Director pointed out that oil and gas development projects are expanding, resulting in an increase in Guyanese businesses that are involved in the supply chain. “Exxon would have announced over 800 vendors working in the oil and gas industry. Businesses are growing and the Centre needs to grow with businesses but in order to do so, we also need support and so we are truly happy to be part of this initiative,” Dr. Gaskin-Peters emphasised.
She continued, “We are happy to continue to build the competitiveness of local businesses so that they can grow in the technical areas in the oil and gas industry and also broader support to the Guyanese economy.”
The Centre has a number of other initiatives that are geared to benefit local companies. Back in March, it was announced that the Centre has been engaging local financial institutions on access to finance for businesses operating in the oil and gas sector. They have made proposals to local banks on ‘purchase order financing’ as well as ‘receivables financing’. Additionally, through the Centre’s intervention, Guyanese businesses that are ISO 9001 certified can now become globally certified through the American Petroleum Institute.