European companies eager to get into Guyana and partner with locals – GCCI

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Companies attending a European petroleum exhibition have expressed a keen interest in partnering with Guyanese companies in supplying products and services to the oil industry.

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) which fielded a delegation to the recent Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition in Aberdeen, Scotland has signed an agreement that offers prospects for collaboration.

For the GCCI, which is made up of some of the country’s leading businesses, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce was a big deal.

The Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber is the largest in Scotland and is made up of a number of businesses which sell products and services to the oil industry and they are interested in exporting those products and services to the Guyanese market.

For Guyanese businesses looking to cement their place in the oil and gas sector, it’s the ideal arrangement for partnerships and joint ventures.

“Now, in Guyana, we are going to need to set up a supply chain to provide products and services and one of the fastest ways to do that is through joint ventures and partnerships with companies that have existing technology and know-how,” said Nicholas Boyer, President of the GCCI.

He said that in the meetings he held, there was no one who felt disenchanted, disheartened or uninterested in doing business with Guyana because of talk of a local content policy and possibly legislation.

“I think everyone there understood that across the world there are number of jurisdictions which have put local content policies and legislation in place and this is pretty much par for the course in terms of the oil industry, extractive industries and some other industries in the world.

“I think it was very heartening for me to hear these companies saying they were happy to work with Guyanese partners, as well as hiring Guyanese and train them, so that they could satisfy the Local Content requirement,” said Boyer.

According to Boyer, the companies looking to come into Guyana had intended to respect the need for local collaborations regardless of whether there was a policy but that a policy would allow them to plan and tailor their operations to suit.

“It was heartening to hear people interested in the market and wanting to do business in one of hottest destinations for investment in the oil and gas industry,” Boyer stated.

Recently, the US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah Ann-Lynch, came in for criticism from the GCCI after she said that 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.

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