As a result of the electoral impasse which delayed the swearing-in of the new government in Guyana by five months, investor confidence and trust in the new oil producing country has been severely damaged according to its new President, Dr. Irfaan Ali. As such, he said the government is now focused on rebuilding the country’s image and credibility.
“We have to build trust and confidence that has been severely damaged over the last five months,” President Ali told the country’s Private Sector Commission on Monday.
“We have to ensure that international investors see Guyana as a destination that is not susceptible in the next five years so that they know that their money can be safe, where there is predictability in terms of policy and not policy based on wishful thinking or the mood of the government on a given day,” the President said. “Policy building and policy making cannot operate like that.”
The five-month delay in a declaration of a winner in Guyana’s elections saw the country descending into a state of deep uncertainty as its fragile democracy came under threat. Mounting pressure from the international community came to a climax in July when the United States announced visa restrictions for officials it deemed to be involved in electoral fraud. The ordeal brought into question the future of the country’s emerging oil and gas industry and the influx of mega investments expected in the coming years.
President Ali has said that his administration will be looking to make changes in the area of local content, while fast-tracking the establishment of a Petroleum Commission. While it has ordered a review of the work that was done by the previous administration in its assessment of the Payara development – ExxonMobil’s third offshore project – the new government said developing the country’s offshore oil resources remains a top priority.