President of Guyana, Dr. Irfaan Ali is urging local private sector players to up their game and form consortia to meet the growing needs of Guyana’s oil-driven economy.
He made the appeal during an address at the launch of Saipem’s Offshore Construction Facility at Water Street, Georgetown, over the weekend.
“The private sector needs to come together, build synergy, build consortiums. Go after the opportunity so you give us something to fight with you for,” Dr. Ali said.
He explained that in order for transformation to take place, Guyanese must build a new business model. He said that model must revolve around an understanding that the new scale of investments needed is on a “completely different level from what we’re accustomed to.”
This new scale is a result of large-scale investments by oil major ExxonMobil, and its partners, Hess and CNOOC, to develop oilfields found to contain billions of barrels of high-quality crude.
Though the President noted that the oil and gas industry give Guyanese opportunities to leverage their talents, he encouraged them to look into other sectors which will grow from spinoffs caused by the offshore operations.
Dr. Ali said that there must be a reason why there are efforts from entrepreneurs to open concrete plants in Guyana, amounting to as many as 20, if they all had their way.
He questioned why the local chambers of commerce of Region 3 cannot bring their business leaders together to build their own concrete plant.
The President expects these opportunities to be even more pronounced when the gas-to-energy project comes on stream.
The Government has an ambitious plan to cut the cost of power in half by creating a cleaner energy mix, starting with the piping of gas to shore from the Liza field. Dr. Ali expects that decrease in cost to migrate more investments to Guyana, bringing opportunities for locals in fabrication, marketing, servicing, packaging, distribution, and logistics, to name a few.
He revealed that commercial cargo coming into Guyana is already exceeding local port capacity, creating the need for more developments to facilitate this expansion.
“These are the types of transformational things that would create new value,” he stated.
The Guyanese head of state said locals must evolve from the individual business approach to a collective approach in order to create transformational growth and generational wealth for their families.