The Guyana International Petroleum Exhibition (GIPEX) 2019 wrapped up on Friday November 22 at the Guyana Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, with its organiser reporting participation by over 250 companies, 40 of which were local businesses.
Valiant Business Media, the company that spearheaded the event, also reported that GIPEX 2019 was larger than the inaugural one held in 2018.
Addressing a press conference at the conclusion of the event on Friday, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Valiant Business Media, Mr. Shariq AbdulHai said, “If we compare to last year, it’s definitely gone bigger.”
He also noted encouraging feedback, saying, “I think everyone…realises the importance of this event, not only for the oil and gas sector but generally for Guyana.”
The CEO noted that there was a marked increase in exhibitors this year.
“Last year we had, I think about 60 to 70 exhibiting companies; this year it went well over 100,” he said, adding that the conference attendance was also greater than expected.
Valiant Business Media has invested over US$500,000 into executing GIPEX 2019, and Mr. AbdulHai said that the company hopes to have a longstanding relationship with Guyana.
He also explained that while the Government of Guyana did not provide financial support to the event, it nevertheless provided institutional support which was crucial to the successful execution of the three-day conference and exhibition.
Director of the Department of Energy, Dr. Mark Bynoe, in his remarks at the wrap-up press conference, said that the aim of GIPEX 2019 was to build greater awareness within Guyana and its developing oil and gas sector. It was also intended to begin the discussion around how oil and gas resources can be deployed to aid in the economic development of the country.
He was optimistic about the networking that the Department was able to capitalize on at GIPEX 2019.
“We had a number of interactions with a number of regional and international companies seeking to get a better understanding what is Government’s plan with regards to upstream, midstream and downstream activities within this particular sector and how they could possibly assist in all areas of the value chain,” Dr Bynoe said.
Dr. Bynoe is hopeful that the discussions would be beneficial to Guyana’s developing petroleum sector.
“As we move forward, we hope that the discussions we would have had both with the private and governmental sectors, that Guyana can see itself enhancing its capacity, raising its standard and broadening its investment portfolio as we seek to encourage greater foreign direct investment into Guyana,” Dr. Bynoe said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), Mr. Owen Verwey, told the media that his agency met with a number of potential foreign investors who are eager to set up businesses in Guyana.
“We have had about 19 different meetings in the last three days with different types of businesses,” he stated, adding, “The majority of people that I would have met were extremely positive about their experience at this event.”
Mr. Verwey also noted that many of the foreign companies are interested in partnering with local businesses.
Meanwhile, speaking to local businesses’ participation in GIPEX, President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Mr. Nicholas Deygoo-Boyer said, “The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry was happy to work with the Department of Energy and Valiant Media to get local participation for local businesses exhibiting as well as delegates to the conference.”
According to the GCCI President, “We thought it important, and they thought it important as well, to make the conference accessible to locals who are now learning about the industry and seeking ways in which they can get involved in the industry.”
He is pleased with the number of local businesses that participated in the event.
Deygoo-Boyer said GIPEX served as a mode of connection between foreign direct investors and local businesses.
GIPEX 2019, held from November 20-22, was organised by Valiant Business Media in partnership with the Government of Guyana through the Department of Energy, Ministry of the Presidency, and with support from the Guyana Office for Investment. ExxonMobil Guyana supported the event as a Strategic Partner. Lead sponsors included CNOOC International, Hess Guyana and the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company Ltd. (GTT).
The third day of the event was open to members of the public.