Trump is for local content, so are we – GCCI’s Timothy Tucker  


The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce (GCCI) is hammering through its lobby for local businesses to benefit fully from the petroleum sector, brushing aside concerns of the U.S. Government’s top diplomat in Georgetown.

“…some recent suggestions of a Local Content Policy in Guyana may send a signal that some investors, and the employment and know-how benefits they bring, are not welcome,” said Sarah Ann Lynch, the U.S. Ambassador to Guyana.

She was speaking Saturday last at the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Guyanese arm of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), of which she is the co-chair.

The Senior Vice President of the GCCI, Timothy Tucker, said Lynch is a public servant in her country and she has to do what is best for her country and her country’s businesses and the GCCI is doing the same for Guyanese businesses.

US Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch

“We are the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and we have to do what is best for Guyanese businesses and that is why the Chamber has always been supportive of local content because it is what is best for Guyanese businesses,” Tucker said Tuesday when questioned about Lynch’s statement.

“I understand she has to protect her investors and the companies from that country that is coming,” Tucker added.

“We all see that her President [Donald Trump] is very pro-local content to his country, so we are very well on track with our local content to be pro-local content,” Tucker declared.

The U.S. Ambassador had stated that at a time of increasing integration, especially in a globalised energy sector, focusing on who owns a firm is counterproductive.

The Diplomat said emphasis should be on whether firms are allowing international best practices on matters such as financial transparency and environmental protection or otherwise acting in a manner that contributes directly to Guyana’s overall prosperity.

She added that foreign companies introduce international standards that local companies need to reach global competitiveness.

At a recent forum on the third draft of the Local Content Policy, President of the GCCI Nicholas Boyer said the draft dictates that oil operators and their sub-contractor companies should show a preference for domestic suppliers as long as performance, quality and delivery are competitive with international performances and prices.

But he said that is not an easy matchup for local businesses.

“At our scale, achieving price competitiveness is not an easy task. So that is something we need to sit down and honestly look at.

“A lot of our regulations in our industries are very sub-standard to what oil and gas expects,” Boyer stated.

For example, he said this is lacking in the area of Health, Safety, Security and the Environment.

Boyer noted that said that updating the country’s occupational health and safety laws may help but there is a long way to go with that.

He said that while in the draft policy there is no minimum stipulated participation of domestic sub-contractors/suppliers in contracts awarded to foreign suppliers, there is language encouraging unbundling of contracts, or picking contracts apart so that local suppliers can bid to supply aspects needed for a particular job.

As such, Boyer said local business must step up their game and offer the highest quality services and products.

“We cannot offer-substandard products – substandard products in this industry means somebody’s life is at risk. That is why this industry is so heavily regulated. They place a high value on life,” he stated.

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