Guyana’s economy remains resilient – PM Nagamootoo
─ despite the impact of COVID-19
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Despite the impact of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic Guyana’s economy will continue to be resilient, Prime Minister the Honorable Moses Nagamoottoo said Wednesday evening.
The Prime Minister who is also the Chairman of the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF), was at the time being interviewed on a televised programme aired on Trinidad and Tobago’s CNC3.
While Guyana anticipates a 20 to 40 percent decrease in revenues due to the current global pandemic, PM Nagamootoo believes that if one section of the economy takes a dip, there are other resources which will assist to the keep the economy afloat.
“We are looking towards the oil sector but oil has to be complemented with soil. We have a diverse economy. We are rich in agriculture and our rice production. For example, last year Guyana had one of the highest rice productions.”
According to the Prime Minister, nothing has been detected to affect the energy sector.
“We do not detect any downturn in production in the oil and gas sector. These offshore activities are taking place 120 kilometres outside our shore and we have listed oil and gas as an essential sector… So, we know of no measures that could affect production.”
Prime Minister Nagamootoo said Guyana has not seen any cut back on the business environment, and its major productive sectors have not been affected.
He highlighted that during this period the private sector has contributed significantly to preventing the country’s economy from free-falling.
“The Government has given incentives for the importation of medical-related items and they are measures taking effect among the disadvantaged group, for example, there has been a recall on VAT on water and electricity. We also have in the pipeline some social impact measures such as granting of vouchers to the most vulnerable.”
Relative to the closing of the nation’s borders, PM Nagamootoo pointed out that this ensures imported cases of COVID-19 are restricted and stops community spread.
“Thus far the analysis of the Guyana cases is showing that while the original case is imported, we have quite a lot of community spread and some of those persons have been interacting with cross border immigrants,” he explained.
He continued, “We have engaged the IDB and they have in the pipeline about $76Million US that is ready to be disbursed.