Gaskin: Bright future ahead for all ten regions

September 28, 2019 – The economic outlook for Guyana is exceptionally positive, and all of Guyana will benefit from the oil resources of the country. This was the sentiment expressed by Director of Business, Dominic Gaskin, while speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the Berbice Expo and Trade Fair at Albion on Friday (September 27). He posited that since oil may only be around for about three or four decades, we must use the resources derived from oil to secure the future of our country for long after the oil has been depleted. “We need to make sure that we use our oil wealth to strengthen our other sectors such as agriculture, agro- processing, tourism and other services which are sustainable well beyond the life of our oil,” Gaskin articulated.

Pointing to the need for proper management of the nation’s oil resources and the necessity to guard against corruption, Gaskin gave the assurance that all revenues received by the government will go directly to the Natural Resources Fund and can only be withdrawn with parliamentary approval after a stringent process. He stressed that the fund would ensure transparency of the utilization of the oil resources.

The Director of Business also highlighted the introduction of a Local Content Policy, which he said, is about Guyanese benefitting from opportunities that are created through oil exploration and production. “We must benefit from more than just the royalty and our share of the profits; we must benefit from the employment of Guyanese and the use of Guyanese suppliers; but in order to benefit, we have to be able to provide the goods, services and labour that the industry requires and to meet the standard of the industry,” he noted. Gaskin said the Local Content Policy has to ensure that once the capacity exists in Guyana, Guyanese get first consideration for those jobs and contracts. He added that

where there is no local capacity to provide skill and services, action must be taken to build that capacity. “Local content is not a political issue,” he emphasized. “Local content is about Guyanese benefitting from Guyanese oil.”

He said the government is keen on providing support for the private sector since it is the private sector that drives the economy and employment. The private sector, he added, must be robust enough to respond to the changes in our economy that we see on the horizon. The Director also shared the need for Guyanese to remain in Guyana to develop the country.