Despite low to no growth projected in some Caribbean countries for 2020, Guyana stands out as a pillar in the region due to the South American country commencing oil production in December 2019 which will mean a spike in financial flows to the country’s coffers this year.
Speaking on a YouTube podcast – Caribbean Economic Outlook 2020 – Trinidadian economist Marla Dukharan highlighted global growth trends and their implications for the Caribbean and also gave an overview of the economic outlook for each of the major Caribbean countries.
With a 2020 projected real GDP of 85.6%, Guyana, she said, is expected to grow about 10 times faster than South Sudan, which she ranked second after Guyana in terms of growth for 2020.
Dukharan said that while the numbers look good for the Guyana economy, she cannot help but worry about the resource curse which has beset a number of countries including many on the African continent. “We hope that [Guyana’s] policy agenda in the coming years will take full cognizance of this challenge and this predisposition to suffer from the Dutch Disease and will counteract this measure,” she said.
Noting that oil in Guyana is expected to account for 40 percent of Guyana’s GDP by 2023 into 2024, she said the International Monetary Fund wants to develop a complementary fiscal framework to support development of the huge human capital needs that Guyana has.
Pointing out that Guyana is due for general elections in March 2020, she said that political uncertainty and weak institutions do not bode well for meaningful social outcomes based on the oil revenue.
“…but we continue to hope that the incoming government or the incumbent government continue to focus on insulating Guyana from the Dutch Disease or the ill effects of a resource boom,” she said.