Wales Development Authority to employ over 3,000 – Finance Minister
– legislation to make WDA a reality coming
The Wales Development Authority (WDA) is expected to be an immediate source of employment for thousands. This was disclosed by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh during his 2021 Budget presentation to the National Assembly on Friday.
The establishment of the WDA is coupled with the planned gas-to-shore mega project set to be completed in 2023 along the West Bank Demerara. With the project on stream, Guyana will be able to expand its manufacturing opportunities with a low-cost source of energy. Minister Singh said the WDA will distinguish itself as the industrial centre of the Caribbean.
“When in operation the WDA stands to employ well over 3,000 persons on a full-time basis in fields ranging from manual, technical, professional, administrative among others across the various enterprises to be located under the WDA,” the Minister said.
He said this does not take into account the numerous indirect employment that will be generated. Minister Singh also revealed that steps are already being taken to make the WDA a reality.
“Government will commence work on the Wales Development Authority (WDA) by drafting and passing the requisite legislation to create the Authority during 2021. As we speak, consulting services are being procured to conduct the geotechnical, geophysical, environmental impact, and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) studies to determine the location where the gas line would land as well as the sites for the drying facilities, co-generation plant, and essential petrochemical industries,” Minister Singh revealed.
The Minister said special incentives will be provided to motivate investors. He added that the reduction in electricity cost is expected to attract large industrial, agro-processing, and manufacturing firms.
Dr. Singh said Government’s policy to provide tangible support to non-oil sectors will provide an enabling environment for the country’s diversification efforts. Added to that, he pointed out that it will provide the groundwork for sustainable robust economic performance.
His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali making the announcement of the WDA last year had said it would bolster the manufacturing and services sector. President Ali said it will not only develop agriculture but also agro-industries, processing facilities, manufacturing and industrial development.
Budget 2021 was disclosed to be a whopping $383.1 billion and was read under the theme ‘A Path to Recovery, Economic Dynamism and Resilience’.