20 Canadian companies interested in Guyana’s Oil & Gas sector
By Bibi Khatoon
Some 20 Canadian companies are in Guyana looking to capitalize on the country’s oil and gas sector, however Business Minister Dominic Gaskin has sought to steer the companies to invest in other areas in Guyana.
While pointing out that the Government is satisfied with the progress made with the Liza oil project, he told the Canadian trade mission that, “I don’t want you to think that oil is the only thing happening in Guyana. There are other priority sectors which our Government wants to promote, and which we would like to see placed on a developmental trajectory before the production of oil begins.”
Gaskin was at the time speaking at the opening of an educative session for the Canada Oil and Gas Trade Mission at the Marriott Hotel on Tuesday.
The Minister spoke about past experiences where Guyana relied on sugar and bauxite to fuel its economic development, thereby making it vulnerable when those sectors face challenges. He urged the businessmen and women to look for opportunities in the Agriculture, Tourism and Value Added sectors.
The Trade Mission, organised by the Canadian High Commission and the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industry Association (NOIA) and the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), is in Guyana for the next three days. During this time, they are hoping to leverage partnerships with appropriate local businesses and also share with them, ways to access opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
According to Michael Critch, Treasurer of the NOIA Board of Directors and also owner of two businesses in the oil and gas sector, noted that there is much which Guyana can learn from the companies which have been servicing rigs and drill ships for forty years.
“Guyana is very similar to Newfoundland and Labrador in that in the early 1970s with its limited infrastructure, high migration and a challenged economy, we also know the challenges that lie ahead. Development of our offshore resources transformed our economy and our society, much as it is about to do with the Guyana economy,” Critch explained.
Guyana and Canada share years of bilateral and commercial trade relations, as Guyana is the third largest market for Canada products in CARICOM. This was highlighted by Charge de Affairs at the Canadian High Commission, Jan Sheltinga.