Guyana has joined a voluntary organisation of global sovereign wealth funds committed to promoting good governance and investment management practices through dialogue, research and self-assessment.
The Natural Resources Fund (NRF) set up by the Ministry of Finance became an associate member of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF).
The IFSWF in a statement on its website on Thursday said having established its NRF prior to extracting its first oil, “is a strong signal to the world of its commitment to upholding good governance principles.”
Guyana’s NRF was established in 2019 under the Natural Resource Fund Act to manage revenues from the oil resources discovered offshore.
Under the Act, the Bank of Guyana is mandated to manage the NRF prudently, following an investment mandate that is developed with the advice of an investment committee comprised of experts nominated by the public and private sectors.
The operational management agreement was signed on 12 December 2019 and efforts are ongoing to establish a Public Accountability and Oversight Committee which is empowered by the Act to monitor and evaluate whether the NRF has been managed in accordance with the Santiago Principles.
The funds will be held in the New York Federal Reserve.
In a comment to the ISFWF, Finance Minister, Winston Jordan said: “the admittance of Guyana as an associate member of the IFSWF is most welcomed as we prepare to receive first revenues into the Natural Resource Fund.”
He spoke of the coalition government’s commitment to adhering to the Santiago Principles on transparency, accountability and good governance.
“We look forward to meeting with and learning from the other members of the Forum as we work towards full membership in the coming years and importantly ensuring that the revenues earned from our natural resources benefit both current and future generations in the pursuit of sustainable development for our country,” he added.
The IFSWF is a global network of sovereign wealth funds from almost 40 countries.
Chairman of the organisation, Majed Al Romaithi said: “One of the core objectives of the Forum is to facilitate the free flow of capital across the globe by sharing and demonstrating good governance practices between our members. The membership of COFIDES and associate membership of NRF now brings the number of countries represented in the IFSWF to 38.”
Guyana joined the body along with Spain’s Compañía Española de Financiación del Desarrollo, (COFIDES) which became a full member.
COFIDES is a state-owned company that has been offering financial support to Spanish companies investing abroad since 1988.