Oil & gas to play major role in Guyana economy in 2019 – Finance Minister

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Guyana’s Finance Minister, Winston Jordan

Guyana’s Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, said 2019 will see the beginning of a major economic transformation in the South American country. This, he said, is a direct result of the emerging oil and gas sector.

Mr. Jordan’s comments came just before the presentation of the country’s 2019 National Budget, set to take place on Monday, November 26.

He explained that “There are new industries, such as oil and gas, that will come on stream next year and we expect better performance in those areas as well as in a number of the traditional industries.”

The Finance Minister said he is pleased to note that persons are becoming more aware of the benefits of the sector and are positioning themselves to take advantage of it.

He said, “Everybody is building something for oil. That is going on at a breathtaking pace as we move towards 2020 and so that is good for the economy.”

“Pegasus has started their expansion at the right time and we have had enquiries by a major hotel chain about coming here. So, that is very good for the business climate here,” he said, referring to major expansion works being undertaken by Pegasus Hotel Guyana.

Mr. Jordan also noted that other sectors of the economy are seeing improved growth rates as a result of the emerging petroleum sector, citing tourism as an example. “Tourism is up tremendously. We don’t even have enough flights coming in here. A number of conferences that were never held anywhere near here and so hotels are in demand.”

Last Friday, outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Guyana Perry Holloway said Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could increase by 1000 percent by 2025.

The ambassador said based on the calculations and oil finds of U.S. oil giant, ExxonMobil, the economy could grow rapidly within the space of five years.

He said, “Guyana could experience that level of growth by 2025…that would be about 300 years of growth,”

Guyana is expected to commence commercial oil production by March 2020, which is some 16 months away.

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