Canadian Expert urges Guyana to build lasting partnerships for successful oil industry

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Guyanese policy makers are encouraged to engage in consultations and foster lasting partnerships as it is the only way its Oil Industry can be successful.

Addressing local and international stakeholders at the Guyana Oil and Gas Association’s (GOGA) Business Dinner on Monday evening (March 27, 2017), Former Premier of Alberta, Canada, Ms. Alison M. Redford, Q.C. noted that without a clear understanding, of everyone working together towards a common goal, “there will be misunderstanding, miscommunication and perhaps not quite enough trust to make this project as successful as it can be for Guyana.”

Developing an Oil industry in 2017, she pointed out that Guyana is being given an opportunity to learn from experiences of other countries and ensure that the mistakes made in the past are not repeated.

Recounting some of the experiences in Canada, Redford said partnerships must exist not only between political leaders and the industry but also with regulators and communities.

“What I know from my experience as a Lawyer, Politician and the work that I did in development, before I ever went into politics, is that if you haven’t built that trust and that common understanding of what the goals are and what you want to do, as a country with this wonderful resource, there would be lots of challenges along the way. And without that goal, and without being able to remind each other why you came together to build this incredible economy, it truly can slow down what needs to be done, and of course, so much of what needs to be done in Guyana, needs to be done quickly,” she added.

The Canadian expert outlined that the gap between where political leadership makes the policy but from there to the implementation of regulations can take 100 different turns. “I would suggest (from my experience as someone who was elected to public office) that the creation of that policy is probably one of the most dynamic conversations you can have, but once that policy is set, I certainly see the development of rules being more successful when everyone have been involved all the way along.”

The government has conducted consultations on the draft Petroleum Commission Bill which makes provision for the establishment of a Commission to serve as a regulatory agency for the industry.

Subject Minister, Raphael Trotman also recently expressed commitment to consultations noting that “Government is seeking partnerships with individuals, groups, associations and even countries that are prepared to work in the best interest of Guyana and its people, like-minded partnerships. At the same time, we need to accept that there is a measure to which we can obtain advice and assistance at any given time.”

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