Wednesday, September 27, 2023

New local catering consortium to get tax waivers for Guyana oil sector market

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Guyana’s government is working to see major local caterers tap into the multi-million-dollar catering industry for the nation’s petroleum sector.

To achieve this, the Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat; Director of the Local Content Secretariat Martin Pertab and other key ministerial and government officers met with over 100 Guyanese-owned catering services to discuss how a consortium can be formed to bid and supply food to the two offshore floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels.

Both vessels – the Liza Destiny and Liza Unity – are operating in the prolific Stabroek Block.

Mr. Bharrat explained that the government wants more than just a few businesses to benefit from the country’s petroleum sector. He said it is in seeking to ensure that all get “a piece of the pie” that the Ali-led administration has moved to have this consortium set up.

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“If we pool our resources – finances and expertise – we can tackle this. We have to come together and compete with external companies and not against each other. In numbers, you have the strength and be assured that you have the support of the government,” the Natural Resources Minister told the room of major Guyanese caterers.

He noted that the government, through the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), will be extending waivers on duties and taxes for machinery and equipment needed to operationalise the work of the consortium. Major hotel investors will also benefit from this tax waiver.

The meeting comes on the heels of a directive from President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali just days ago, in which he called for this consortium to be formed.

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“These are services that are externalised because we have to learn to work together. We cannot operate in a mega economy if we don’t bring together consortiums. We bring ten small people together, we have a medium company, we bring ten medium people together, we get a large size company. So, we are going to use this mechanism, this network to bring this country together, as part of the ‘One Guyana’ umbrella,” the President explained on October 16.

The Ministry of Natural Resources will meet again with the interested caterers to identify the operational model which this consortium will adopt. Participants will also be privy to presentations prepared by the Local Content Secretariat and other key personnel from within the Natural Resources Ministry.

The first schedule of Guyana’s Local Content Act carves out 40 sectors and sub-sectors for Guyanese businesses. Contractors, sub-contractors and licensees operating in Guyana are required to source 90% of their catering services from Guyanese. They are also required to source 75% of their food supply from Guyanese.

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