UK buzzing to invest in Guyana
By Devina Samaroo
In light of the burgeoning oil and gas sector, there has been an increased interest in the number of British firms desirous of investing in Guyana, British High Commissioner, Gregory Quinn has said.
Quinn said there have been a number of companies travelling in and out of Guyana and the United Kingdom (UK) to discuss various business propositions in relation to the service industries.
He also noted that companies like Tullow, a multinational oil and gas exploration company, have already ramped up their activities locally amid the buzz of the promising potential of the oil and gas industry.
The British High Commissioner also explained that companies outside of the oil and gas sector are also displaying an interest to invest.
“People are thinking, once the money starts to come in and people are having more money and more disposable income, there are other areas be that consumer goods where there is a potentially bigger market,” he stated.
With all these private investments occurring, the ambassador underscored the urgency for the government to put legislation in place to govern the prosperous sector.
He commended the movement to establish a Petroleum Commission, A Sovereign Wealth Fund and Local Content Act but he urged that these processes be finalized as soon as possible with the widest form of consultations.
Quinn pointed out that government can consult with international partners as well, noting that there really is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to putting systems in place to manage the oil and gas sector.
However, the British High Commissioner said there is an urgent need for government to update its National Development Strategy which will guide how oil proceeds are spent.
“If you’re gonna make this work properly then you’re going to need to have an overarching statement of what’s the goal for the country 25 or 20 years down the line … and then everything else comes down from it in terms of what needs to be done to address each of the specific areas highlighted in the strategy,” Quinn explained, noting that there needs to be a proper plan for spending money.
The diplomat said the UK has expressed its interest in helping government update its development strategy but he noted that the first move needs to be made by the local policymakers.
“The question is more for the government as to what is the basis on which to start the work of developing that strategy, do you want to start from scratch or do you want to build on something which already exists,” Quinn stated.