Economy continues positive trend – Finance Minister
Georgetown, GINA, July 21, 2016
Despite the challenges faced by the rice and sugar industries, Finance Minister Winston Jordan is positive that the country is on stream to achieve its projected growth rate since the economy has continued to show positive signs of growth.
“Yes the economy has grown; the economy has continued its growth trend,” the Minister said.
According to the World Bank’s Country review “Guyana’s economic fortunes in recent years have reflected the path of global commodity prices. Between 2005 and 2013, the economy grew by 4.7 percent per year on average, ending a disappointing decade of alternating years of growth and contraction. However, real GDP growth decelerated to 3.8 percent in 2014 and to 3.0 percent in 2015; the economy is expected to grow by around 4 percent in 2016 and 2017.
Speaking about the resurgence of gold prices, Jordan said that the returns to Guyana are fantastic, and while sugar is not doing well, rice had some slippages and bauxite is holding its own, gold has allowed the economy to continue to grow rather than regress.
“All in all I think the future is golden,” the Minister of Finance said.
Following the change in government in May 2015, there have been complaints of a sluggish economy which the government then ascribed to its actions aimed at curtailing tax evasion and illicit activities associated with the underground economy.
At the same time, Minister Jordan had said the government was expecting the country’s 50th Independence anniversary celebrations dubbed the “Golden Jubilee” to be the impetus for the country’s economic take off.
“We haven’t seen numbers as yet, but given our pretty good performance in areas like gold, we should be on target despite the fall off in sugar. We should be on target to achieve the set growth rate of between 4 and 4.4 percent,” the Minister told the Government Information Agency (GINA).
Recently it was reported that Canadian Company, Guyana Goldfields Inc. has already poured 75,000 ounces of gold for the first six months of this year at its Aurora Mines in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni area.
Minister Jordan noted that “Guyana is on the cusp for major transformation and now is the time to get in, particularly when, in the case of gold prices at a level where you can make an investment and get a decent return.”
Government is happy with the operation and production of the company. Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman, speaking of Aurora’s feat, said, “It is surpassing even our targets because at the beginning we anticipated just about 100,000 ounces and it would appear that we will go beyond that for this mine alone because at the end of June they had already done close to 76,000 ounces so we are doing very well…the returns are good and this company is leading the way.”
In 2015, the Guyana Gold Board declared a record 451,490 ounces of gold, surpassing the year’s target of 380,000 ounces.
Guyana’s target for the production of gold for 2016 is 550,000 ounces.