Gov’t putting measures in place to strengthen non-oil economy
– Min Singh tells diaspora in Canada
The Government of Guyana will use the current period of oil production to invest in the things that are necessary to ensure long-term growth and well-being for all Guyanese, while putting measures in place to reduce dependency on the commodity.
This stretches well beyond the oil era, and will create the necessary development to build a sustainable future for Guyanese.
These sentiments were expressed by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, over the weekend.
He was speaking to members of the diaspora at the Guyana Consulate in Toronto, Canada, where he delivered the keynote address at the Canada Guyana Chamber of Commerce’s (CGCC) Inaugural Gala.
He acknowledged the remarkable contributions that each person in the diaspora has made to the advancement of Guyana.
The senior minister also pointed out that Guyana is on a fast-paced track to economic growth, citing the most recent 56 per cent estimated growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which makes Guyana one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Although Guyana is still in the early stages of oil production, Dr Singh said the PPP/C Government is already looking ahead.
“Not two years, three years, four years, but looking far down the road and contemplating what are the things that we need to do now to transform our country, to ensure that this growth is not dependent only on oil; because as you know, oil can be $140 a barrel, or it could be $18 a barrel,” he stressed.
Since Guyana is an oil-producing country, Minister Singh expressed hope that the price of oil remains strong. However, the government understands the volatility of oil production.
“We are living in a world where fossil fuels also have a finite life. You know that you live in Canada. You know the agenda for Net Zero, you know the push for clean energy. You have already participated in that transition.
“And so, we are committed to ensuring a strong non-oil economy, investing in the necessary things to ensure that we are not an oil-dependent country, where without oil we have nothing else,” he said.
The minister was accompanied by GO-Invest’s Chief Investment Officer, Dr Peter Ramsaroop.
He thanked the CGCC on hosting the Inaugural Gala and Fundraiser event and commended them on all of their achievements since their establishment, noting that the Gala presents an excellent opportunity for both Guyanese and Canadian companies to forge ties and accelerate the deepening of investment and trade relations between the two countries.
Also, he made note of the special relationship that exists between Guyana and Canada, grounded in shared values including commitment to democratic governance, and highlighted Canada’s role in the protection of Guyana’s democratic credentials during the March 2020 General and Regional Election.
High Commissioner of Canada to Guyana and Suriname, H.E. Mark Berman; Chairman of the CGCC, Anand Beharry, other members and other board members and officials were also present at the event.