Sunday, February 5, 2023

Local content doesn’t mean automatic benefits, Guyanese must become competitive, says economic specialist

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Guyana’s Local Content Act mandates quotas for the participation of Guyanese workers and businesses in various oil-related sectors, which gradually increase over the years.

Executive Director at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Richard Rambarran said when one looks at what is happening, the law covers not only the petroleum sector but all the sectors that grow concomitantly with it.

Rambarran is a Partner and Economic and Business Specialist at Ascension Business Services, and also a Lecturer at the School of Entrepreneurship & Business Innovation at the University of Guyana.

“When one thinks about it, if you are in tourism and hospitality, you stand to benefit from developments in the petroleum sector. If you are in transport, you stand to benefit from the petroleum sector development. If you are in logistics, you stand to benefit…,” he said.

However, the business specialist said one must keep in mind that irrespective of the fact that the resources belong to Guyanese, Guyana is operating in a fundamentally free market society, integrated into the global platform.

He said while it is the case that there is a birthright for Guyanese to their resource patrimony, local content still requires them to put their best foot forward.

“Someone should not run away with the idea that they are, by and large… authorised to obtain this natural resource and obtain the benefits accruing from this natural resource, without strong competition, without developing themselves to an international level and really ensuring that you are putting the best foot forward…” Rambarran said.

He made this comment while explaining how the local content law will benefit Guyanese, through the Georgetown Capital publication.

The law was passed in December and was assented to by President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali. The government said the law mandates “a near takeover” of the industry by locals, with clear opportunities for foreign companies to benefit handsomely by partnering with, contracting, and hiring locals.

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