Local companies must move beyond ‘buying and selling’ and embrace innovation, inventiveness – Guyana President urges

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Guyana’s President, Dr Irfaan Ali has reaffirmed his Government’s commitment to ensure that local businesses are optimally involved in the oil and gas sector.

The Head of State made this assertion during his address at the Guyana Oil and Gas Virtual Summit which got underway on Tuesday.  The two-day event will allow for online networking with Guyana’s key stakeholders in the energy sector.

While President Ali noted that the emergence of the oil and gas sector will result in an explosion of opportunities in the South American country, he said that it will also require investment, technical skills and capacity on an unprecedented scale.

“We are developing a Local Content Policy and Law which will promote local participation in the sector. The policy is being developed through a consultative process, including through the examination of best practices around the world,” he said.

Economic Opportunities

The President stated that while Foreign Direct Investment is essential for capitalising on the opportunities which the sector promises, it is also vital in building the capacity of local enterprises.

“Guyana therefore welcomes foreign investment to help us acquire the capital, the skills and the technology to convert economic transformation into economic opportunities,” the President stated

He said since oil and gas will move Guyana’s development trajectory to a higher level, which represents a “paradigm shift in our country’s development” local companies must embrace new ways of doing business.

“The old culture of ‘buying and selling’ must give way to one which emphasises production of goods and services and partnering with others to maximise local traction in the sector,” Mr. Ali said. “Local firms must become bold and ambitious – they must think big and think international. They must embrace innovation and inventiveness if they are to compete effectively in the global economy.”

The Oil and Gas Summit, he added, provides an opportunity to begin preparations for the new economy by highlighting the investment opportunities in Guyana. It also offers local investors the opportunity to establish synergies, build capacities and forge strategic partnerships.

“I assure all that my Government is supportive of investment – foreign and local. We are working to ensure a more enabling environment to boost business in Guyana,” the President pointed out.

He commended CWC, Global Future Energy Limited and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) for their partnership in organising the event, which he acknowledged is an expression of confidence in Guyana’s future.

All speakers and participants of the summit will be remotely connected through an online platform and will have access to a unique programme and high-level networking.

The delegates will actively participate in the event through engaging functions, including polling, Q&A, live chats and one-to-one meetings.

Other speakers during the two-day Summit include Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, Deodat Indar, Minister within the Ministry of Public Works responsible for management of energy sector, other government officials, and David Abiamofo Minister of Natural Resources (Suriname).

Members of the Diplomatic Corps, representatives of GCCI and key stakeholders in both the local and international oil and gas sector will also be participating.

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