“We are here to listen,” Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said as keynote speaker for the opening of Guyana’s first ever Local Content Summit, Tuesday at the Pegasus Corporate Centre.
The summit comes as the government is gearing up to review Guyana’s Local Content Act, to include more categories and secure greater participation by Guyanese businesses in the oil & gas value chain.
“We’ve seen a massive spurt in the companies getting registered,” Jagdeo said if the first year of operation of the Act.
The year 2022 delivered more than US$700 million to the Guyanese business community. The government is looking to add categories that could up this by a target of US$300 million more.
Beyond this, the petroleum sector in Guyana is about to expand significantly once blocks are issued at the conclusion of Guyana’s first offshore auction.
The VP said Guyana has to keep the industry dynamic so that local companies can develop capacities of scale in a manner that can meet the sector’s evolving needs.
The government, he said, does not want Guyanese investors to have their investments stranded. He explained that while the government’s policy may seem blunt, it reflects a posture to, among other things, sustain this industry in a manner beneficial to locals.
The official noted that the government is keeping a keen eye on companies which may be circumventing the Act through various means.
This summit is the first of a series of meetings to be had over several months, to review legislation, he said.
The woman at the helm of the summit, President and CEO of MBW Energy Support Services Inc. (MBWESSI), Abbigale Loncke-Watson said the summit will discuss the Local Content Act, advantages and risks, local content success stories, the knowledge and tools needed to become local content certified.
Loncke said there will be opportunities for all stakeholders to participate throughout the day.
“Today’s summit is the start of a journey that will hopefully lead us to a more solid foundation,” Loncke said, particularly for more equity and inclusion in Guyana’s local content framework. “We know that when Local Content thrives, so does local value, and so does our community.”
The summit will hear from several panels and presentations from key government and industry representatives.