Economy to experience sustained growth of over 25 per cent in 2023 − Senior Finance Minister

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh says the country’s economy is expected to experience sustained growth of 25.1 per cent this year.

Minister Singh also predicted that the growth rate will continue to exceed 25 per cent in the medium term, over the next three to four years.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh

Dr Singh made the disclosure during his presentation at the International Energy Conference and Expo being held at the Guyana Marriott Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown on Thursday.

The achievement of real economic growth of 25 per cent over a sustained period is an achievement that is rare, in the historical economic context…Mind you, that projection of 25 per cent is based on current proven oil reserves and a production trajectory consistent with current proven reserves,” he pointed out.

Highlighting the macroeconomic landscape in which Guyana is functioning, Dr Singh said the government’s top priority is to ensure that the country achieves strong, sustainable, and tangible economic growth.

Last year, Guyana was ranked as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with over 62 per cent real growth.

“To put things in context, over the last three years, the Guyanese economy has tripled in size. We broke our nominal GDP, and the size of the economy broke the $1 trillion mark in 2019 for the first time… in fact, we ended the year [2019] with nominal GDP of GY$1.078 trillion. We ended 2022 with nominal GDP in excess of GY$3 trillion.”

While the country’s economic growth was driven by the oil and gas sector, the minister emphasised that the government is prioritising the attainment of robust non-oil economic growth.

Last year, the non-oil economy expanded by 11.5 per cent and Minister Singh is projecting real economic growth in the non-oil economy of 7.9 per cent this year.  

We are projecting real economic growth in the non-oil sectors solidly in excess of 5 per cent through the medium term as well,” Dr Singh stated.

With this in mind, the senior finance minister said investors looking to do business in Guyana will be coming to an economic jurisdiction that has established a robust track record of economic growth in recent years, and a strong outlook in the medium term.

He underscored that all of this is being done within the context of the government’s recognition of the importance of maintaining a disciplined fiscal stance.

“We endeavour our best to maintain that fiscal deficit and we finance that deficit with extremely prudent borrowing,” he stressed.

On the subject of fiscal solvency, Minister Singh stated that Guyana has made remarkable progress in strengthening its public finances over the years. Just over 30 years ago, Guyana’s public debt to GDP ratio exceeded 600 per cent however, today, the public debt to GDP ratio stands at 24.6 per cent.

This, the senior minister said, places Guyana ahead of almost every economy in this hemisphere, and it puts the country in a position where it has significant headroom to borrow.

The minister noted that Guyana has a strong portfolio with multilateral and regional development institutions and a robust pipeline of official borrowing. This enables the country to finance its fiscal programme without having to resort to expensive or uncompetitive borrowing options.