Over 25 new services identified by private sector for update of Guyana’s local content law

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Guyana’s Private Sector Commission (PSC) has identified 25 additional categories that could be included in the country’s Local Content Act, said President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Timothy Tucker. He told OilNOW in an exclusive interview that in addition to this, the GCCI has identified a few more areas. Altogether, he said these recommendations could almost double the original 40 areas legislated in December 2021. 

The outgoing President of the GCCI emphasized the importance of local content in the oil and gas industry, saying that it has enabled Guyanese to invest in pipe-coating, vessel services, and other areas that were previously thought to be beyond local capabilities. He expressed support for the government’s efforts to promote local content and encouraged companies to support it by avoiding rent-seeking and contract bundling. If not, he said, there runs the risk of the industry becoming over-regulated if the government has to step in.

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Tucker said the local content law has the potential to magnify benefits to Guyanese and the private sector in many ways, including building capacity. However, he also expressed concern that some individuals and companies inhibit the realisation of this potential by circumventing the law. Tucker called for regulations to close the loopholes that have allowed companies to circumvent the law through rent-seeking.

“Rent extraction will create foreign currency crises, [and] will reduce opportunities for locals in terms of benefitting from local content,” Tucker said. “Just few people will actually be able to get any money from it and it’s a small percentage…those are very selfish people because they’re getting a small percentage of what really is the spend.”

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He said those people circumvent the law just to get 5-10% of the revenues for themselves while depriving locals of opportunities to grow. 

The Chamber has also advocated for major contracts to be unbundled, arguing that the practice prevents up-and-coming Guyanese businesses, now building capacity to provide individual services, from winning contracts. In turn, the government has encouraged companies to unbundle contracts as far as is practicable. 

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