Thousands of expatriates in Guyana with high demand for numerous services

A section of Guyana's capital city, Georgetown

The emerging oil and gas sector in Guyana is giving rise to numerous opportunities for business ventures ranging from small to large-scale enterprises. Many of the growing opportunities are also outside of mainstream oil and gas activities and this is creating space for more Guyanese to begin positioning themselves to tap into these potential services.

Speaking on a local radio programme on Monday, Guyana’s Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman, urged Guyanese to begin looking at how they can tap into the industry even if they are not technically trained.

“Each vessel needs a crew of several hundred both onshore and offshore, then you have support and auxiliary staff, you have the FPSO itself…,” he pointed out, adding that with thousands of expatriates in-country, the need for schools, tutoring and other services, will increase.

Already, there is a growing demand for food, accommodation and transportation services, which peak during the staging of industry-related conferences and events which are now being held in Guyana with increasing frequency.

As the demand for these and other services increase, it is those who are able to deliver them in keeping with international standards who stand to benefit the most.

Safety, for example, is a primary concern in the oil and gas industry and this give rise to special requirements for the provision of certain services. Transport providers, for example, must ensure that drivers are trained in defensive driving and basic first aid.

The same point was recently highlighted by Director of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe. He told a gathering that a shortage of quality hotels in Guyana is a reality, but it is also an opportunity for those who are willing to make the investment.

He pointed out that having the “fanciest of hotels” is not always necessary, since a large clientele exists for the use of Airbnb-type services – referring to an online marketplace that arrange lodging, primarily homestays, or tourism experiences.

“You have to ensure that it is secure, you have to ensure it is tidy and when someone says to you; ‘madam you know the water was a little cold’ you don’t say; ‘so what you want me to do’. That will not work,” he stressed.