ExxonMobil Guyana’s Centre for Local Business Development (CLBD) on Wednesday marked its one year milestone with a well-attended reception at its South Road, Georgetown headquarters.
The country’s Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin and ExxonMobil Guyana Country Manager, Rod Henson were among those in high praises of the CLBD’s achievements over the past year.
Mr. Gaskin, addressing several of the key business leaders and oil and gas stakeholders said while there is talk of Guyanese not getting their fair share of the value of the oil find, preparedness for the sector is also important.
“What I do know is that if we aren’t prepared, we are not going to be able to maximize the value that is being retained in Guyana so it is important that we are prepared and that we prepare ourselves and we accept initiatives such as this one that are geared towards helping us to prepare for either procurement opportunities or employment opportunities,” Mr. Gaskin underscored.
He said there is a lot of hope in Guyana about what is happening in the oil and gas sector and “uncertainty and concern about the level of local participation and how we can participate as Guyanese in this very exciting and rapidly developing sector.”
As such, “I think it is useful that the Center for Local Business Development is taking the initiative—and I’m not just speaking about this initiative—but all the work, the training, that it has done over the last year. I think it has been extremely useful and from the feedback that I’m getting, it is also being very well received.”
The ExxonMobil Country Manager was in loud praise of the facility it sponsored since ramping up activities in Guyana in order to support local business development in the South American country.
“This center is something ExxonMobil is extremely proud to be part of…ExxonMobil and our partners,” according to Mr. Henson.
The ExxonMobil Country Manager told those gathered for the CLDB anniversary, “…we understand all of the interest that this oil industry is creating…and people want to be a part of it and this center helps that.”
The center, he said, has multiple objectives of educating people about what the industry is about.
“It helps connect companies…and it also—even if you never get a contract in the oil industry—it helps you with your own business,” in reference to the capacity building provided to Guyanese businesses in non-oil specific fields of training.
CLBD has to date provided master class training to dozens of high level government officials in addition to the more than 1,700 businesses and individuals trained in procurement, safety and oil and gas courses.