US Ambassador plugs infrastructure development as Guyana heads to first oil

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The Soesdyke-Linden highway in Guyana

One of the areas that Guyana should look at closely, in keeping with the demands of a new oil and gas economy, is the country’s infrastructural development agenda. This was the advice given by US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, during a recent interview at the US Embassy in the country’s capital, Georgetown.

“I would say it is important for the country to move ahead and start addressing those issues,” the Ambassador said.

She reminded that infrastructure is very important for a country’s economic growth potential and highlighted the potential benefits of Public Private Partnership initiatives to help push this agenda.

“We are happy to connect Guyana to important parts of the private sector that maybe able to assist in this area and by partnering with the private sector it will put Guyana on a path to success.”

The Ambassador further added that, “As you know, the private sector, both big businesses but also small businesses really provide opportunities for growth, for income generation, job creation and ultimately success.”

As it relates to Private Sector investment interest, the Ambassador said there is a lot of excitement about what is happening in Guyana.

“People are looking in not just the oil and gas area but the spinoff sectors that will develop as a result of the oil and gas sector. So, it is more of what oil and gas can do for the country and what it can do for other sectors.”

The Ambassador said great potential exists in a number of other sectors and urged that attention is given to the development of these areas.

“I would encourage Guyana to look at manufacturing, the IT area and maybe services (services will be needed as all of these businesses rise) and eco-tourism will be a great opportunity for the country to look at with all the tremendous amount of biodiversity here. There are many options.”

Guyana recently received a US$35 million Development Policy Credit from the World Bank to build its capacity for the oil and gas sector. Finance Minister Winston Jordan had said this financing provides critical support to the country’s reform agenda and efforts to strengthen institutions and build a resilient economy that is capable of withstanding both external and domestic shocks.

The country is also set to receive another US$20 million World Bank loan for its Petroleum Resources Governance and Management Project to help build capacity and prepare the South American country to effectively manage the coming windfall expected from oil production.