No criticism of Guyana’s local content policy in Caricom – President Ali

President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has made it clear that “in no way, shape or form” was any of the CARICOM member states critical of Guyana’s Local Content legislation at the recently concluded Thirty-Third Inter-Sessional Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government held in Belize.

The President was responding to a question posed by the media at a press conference on Sunday, hosted at State House.

“For a matter of fact, the man [President] from CPSO [Caribbean Private Sector Organisation] sought to take time to explain that they didn’t make any decision, they were just discussing and this email just escaped by some formation,” President Ali told the media.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali at Sunday’s press conference

The Caribbean Private Sector Organisation (CPSO) had raised concerns that Guyana’s Local Content legislation may be breaching the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the Single Market.

In this regard, Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon. Mia Mottley recently announced the formation of an “open-ended committee” that will review local content for new industries to ensure there are no breaches to the Treaty.

President Ali also confirmed that Guyana will be part of that committee. “The committee that was established, was established to look at it [Local Content] in a wider context,” he noted.

The Local Content Bill was passed in the National Assembly after intense debates on December 29, 2021 and was tabled on December 15, 2021. While the opposition claimed the bill was passed in a hurry, government maintains that the critical legislation needed to be passed so that Guyanese businesses could benefit from the many opportunities that are available in the oil and gas sector.

Importantly, Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, M.P had noted that local businesses stand to benefit from US$400 million to US$500 million annually in revenue. The legislation was commended by the private sector, energy chamber and citizens.

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