Guyana working to get Sovereign Wealth Fund right

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, July 20, 2017

The establishment of Guyana’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) requires careful analysis to ensure its application meets local conditions Minister of State Joseph Harmon cautioned.

“This administration, we are taking our time. We’re trying to get things right, because we believe in the interest of the people of this country we have to establish these funds, we have to establish all of these processes in a sound way that can stand scrutiny for years to come,” Minister Harmon said at today’s post Cabinet press briefing.

The Minister stressed that in the best interest of Guyanese the government is looking at best practices around the world and tailoring the SWF to “our own local conditions”. “So I don’t think that it is something that somebody can dream up in one afternoon, or in a month to say well, look here it is,” the Minister pointed out.

The Ministry of Natural Resources has enlisted the assistance of several international agencies and countries to help in the development of the oil and gas industry. Guyana’s SWF has benefited from input by Chatham House and other well-established fund management countries and agencies. The Ministry of Finance is also working on finalising the Fund.

Meanwhile, Minister Harmon expressed confidence in the judiciary to deal with issues that may arise in the oil and gas industry. “Our judges are trained in the law but there are some specific issues which will arise from this area of development and clearly our judges, I’m sure, will adjust to it,” the Minister said.

Minister Harmon noted the judiciary is on an upward trajectory and the judiciary service has also been building its capacity through training.

The government has been putting measures in place to ensure good governance of the oil and gas industry as well as ensuring an independent judiciary through budgetary independence and the meritorious appointment of judges.

 

By: Tiffny Rhodius

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