Investors shouldn’t fear Guyana’s Local Content law— Minister Bharrat

Investors shouldn’t fear Guyana’s Local Content law— Minister Bharrat

Guyana is open for business and is willing to work with any international investor who wants to make use of opportunities that are available in the country’s oil and gas sector.

Vickram Bharrat, Minister of Natural Resources, made this comment today as he said international investors should not fear the country’s strict local content policy for the oil and gas sector.

“We have an open door policy to investment. We have an open door policy to any investor coming into our country. It was mentioned yesterday and I want to repeat it to say that the local content legislation is in no way a hindrance to investment coming into Guyana,” he said while speaking on a panel at Day Two of the 2023 International Energy Conference and Expo in Guyana. 

“It was never designed to be a hindrance to development or investment coming into our country because we do need investors, we do need partners to develop our resources…we cannot do it alone”.

The Local Content Act of 2021 carves out 40 different services that oil and gas companies and their subcontractors must procure from Guyanese companies. These include 90 per cent of office space rental and accommodation services, janitorial services and accounting.

Companies that breach the law face fines that range from GYD$5 million to GYD$50 million.

The law has been criticised by regional and international companies who claim the law has elements that border on discrimination. The Guyanese government has rebutted this claim saying that they want every citizen to receive a slice of the pie from this new revenue stream.

Over 4,000 Guyanese are directly employed within the oil and gas sector.

Bharrat told the audience there will soon be consultations on the Local Content Act to see what changes can be made in the protected service area where there is local expertise and capacity to meet the demand.

Bharrat said that while Guyana’s oil and gas sector is currently receiving global attention, a wealth of opportunities exists in the non-petroleum sector, which grew 11.5 per cent last year.

He encouraged investors to look at the possibilities that exist in that sector and utilise those opportunities.

  • PublishedFebruary 18, 2023

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