We must ensure Guyanese benefit from the future we are building – PM

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), the Honourable Mark Phillips said that in order to ensure Guyana’s long-term economic development, particularly in the oil and gas industry, opportunities for local businesses and citizens must be provided.

He emphasised the Government’s commitment to ensuring that all avenues in the oil economy are made available to local businesses and all Guyanese during his remarks at the official launch of the Guyana Supplier Forum earlier today.

The two-day event is hosted by Exxon Mobil and its Stabroek Block co-ventures, with help from the Centre for Local Business Development at the Leonora Stadium in West Demerara (Region Three).

Prime Minister Phillips said that the Government’s commitment is to all Guyanese.

“We will create a prosperous country where every Guyanese must have a full and successful life through quality education, access to good-paying jobs, opportunities for entrepreneurship, home ownership and economic stability. Our oil and gas sector will encourage us to achieve this goal through a strengthened economy, allowing us to recommit to and invest in our other sectors to build a holistic economy where all sectors contribute to the country’s development. But for these realities to come to fruition, we must ensure that our people can actively participate in the future that we are building.”

He also stressed that systems are being put in place and that the Government will continuously work on facilitating needed changes to make Guyanese competitive and to ensure prosperity.  

“Our speedy establishment of the Local Content Act and Local Content Secretariat was one of the first and most significant steps that guarantee the consideration and prioritisation of our people.”

He said that for Guyanese to truly benefit from the promising future ahead, “we must put in place adequate development, employment and training of the local workforce. We must also make tangible investments in suppliers’ development so that they can meet the demand for procuring supplies and services locally. Such an investment can be seen in the hosting of this forum today”.

The Prime Minister also emphasised the importance of industry standards and procedures to the sector, emphasising the importance of local businesses adhering to these standards in order to fully benefit from the industry.

“One of the main advantages of this emerging sector is that its operations are at an international standard, with stringent and high-level operating requirements. As such, working within the industry, whether as a partner or an employee, calls for requirements that will ensure our local businesses rise to that level as well. So forums, such as these, create a platform for people to find out what they need and how they can achieve those requirements.”

He added: “The Guyana Supplier Forum is a hub of potential for persons genuinely interested in becoming involved in the oil and gas industry. I urge attendees to take full advantage of this event and all it has to offer.”

Country Manager of ExxonMobil Guyana, Mr Alistair Routledge, spoke at the forum’s opening and reaffirmed the company’s long-term commitment to supporting socioeconomic development and improving the quality of life in communities where it operates.

The aim of the event is to create an avenue for local businesses to interact directly with ExxonMobil Guyana and the Prime Contractors about upcoming procurement opportunities in the oil and gas sector, including the Gas-to-Energy Project.

Also attending the opening ceremony were the Minister of Housing and Water, the Honourable Collin Croal; the Minister within the Ministry of housing and water, the Honourable Susan Rodrigues; the Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, the Honourable Deodat Indar along with members of the diplomatic corps, members of the private sector and civil society.

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