Gov’t will not rely solely on oil and gas to propel development – PM Phillips
While Guyana’s oil and gas sector is poised to expand tremendously, generating wealth at an exponential rate and boosting the country’s economy, Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips has emphasised that this industry will only be one portion of a robust developmental plan to promote sustainable economic growth.
During his presentation to the national assembly on the final day of the 2024 budget debates at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Friday, the prime minister said that the government will continue to manage the country’s oil revenues wisely as part of its holistic approach to development.
“We will not throw back and depend on oil and gas to move our country forward and achieve our vision of a prosperous future for our people and our country. We have repeatedly said that the oil and gas revenues must be carefully managed,” he said.
This careful management is seen in the continuous investments being poured into developing the non-oil sector. In 2023, Guyana’s real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 33 per cent, while the non-oil real economy expanded by 11.7 per cent.
This growth in the non-oil economy was mainly driven by expansions in construction agriculture, forestry, manufacturing, and other mining and quarrying subsectors.
“This budget is a testament to our commitment to building a nation that benefits from its natural resources and uses them strategically for sustainable growth,” PM Phillips added.
As such, the senior government official described this year’s budget as ‘groundbreaking’, serving as a guideline for strategic investments in building for the future. This strategic plan sees a heavy focus on building out modern infrastructure and a world-class health and education system, strengthening social services to better meet the needs of the country’s vulnerable groups, and upgrading its legislative framework.
The prime minister also criticised the previous administration’s tenure in office, which he noted was strife with challenges, ranging from crumbling infrastructure and lagging quality of services across every sector.
“Total neglect with zero opportunities for economic growth and improvement of the lives of our people. Not to mention the mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic in Guyana. So, our government knew that we had our work cut out for us to turn it all around so that our country and people can begin to benefit as they truly deserve, from a government that not only talks the talk, but can walk the walk,” he pointed out.