The United States is looking to remain the top trading partner of new oil producer Guyana where investment opportunities have been steadily increasing since 2015 when US oil major ExxonMobil made its first world class oil discovery off the country’s coast.
“We look forward to U.S companies competing fairly and transparently in tender processes as we want to remain Guyana’s top trading partner and partner of choice,” U.S Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah Ann Lynch recently said.
In expressing this desire, Ambassador Lynch also urged that Guyana improves its ease of doing business. The country was ranked 134 out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s 2020 ‘Ease of Doing Business’ report.
“Some of the contributing issues include taxation, high energy cost, inadequate infrastructure, outdated intellectual property rights, bureaucracy, perceived corruption and citizen security concerns,” the Ambassador said. “So, I would challenge us all to improve this ranking in 2021 through our common efforts.”
Meanwhile, Guyana’s President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, committed to addressing these issues, saying, “The PPP/Civic administration has traditionally progressively improved the ease of doing business.”
He noted that Guyana slipped two slots in its ranking for 2019, when compared to 2014.
“Among the problem areas identified were the processing of construction permits, registration of property, and the payment of taxes,” he stated, later adding that, “The Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce will spearhead policies to reverse this slippage and allow the country to climb the rankings.”
Back in September, President Ali signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with U.S Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, geared towards improving the investment environment in Guyana.
The agreement also paved the way for the U.S private sector to expand its investment portfolio and partner with Guyanese companies.
ExxonMobil has so far discovered approximately 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources at the prolific Stabroek Block offshore Guyana spurring increased interest in the South American country by investors around the world.