Int’l energy conference will serve both business, policy interests
The 2022 International Energy Conference and Expo will open on Tuesday at the Guyana Marriott Hotel in Kingston Georgetown with organisers assuring that while it has emerged as a pro-business venture it will also serve the interest of policymakers.
While the final goal is not geared directly towards the development of any policies, Communications Director Alex Graham told a news conference on Monday that the highly anticipated four-day event will provide the opportunity for discussions to take place between policymakers, industry practitioners and professors.
It is those discussions that will spur business opportunities and growth and provide governments with the information needed to guide a regional and national energy strategy, make Guyana more competitive while offering opportunities for participation in the global energy future.
“We are not in the policy-making frame…we are not doing that…our goal is to provide the enabling environment for those conversations to take place,” Graham said.
Four Heads of State – Guyana’s Irfaan Ali; Barbados’ Mia Mottley; Suriname’s Chandrikapersaud Santhoki and Ghana’s Nana Akufo-Addo – along with their delegations will join major businesses and professionals from universities like Oxford in a series of ‘think tank’ discussions.
Graham said the conference equally provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs in Guyana to also leverage and take advantage of opportunities. Well over 500 delegates are registered to attend the conference in person, while another 150 will attend virtually.
For the expo, there are some 40 local companies registered while there are over 100 foreign-registered companies.
“It may seem pro-business, but it is not a bad thing…there will still be robust discussions between groups,” Graham added while acknowledging that a day has been set aside for closed-door business networking.
“We think what is happening is significant with the size and quality of natural resource (oil) finds… it has provided a real opportunity for new attention…and we are not interested now in promoting Guyana as a place where you get resources and leave,” he added.
Graham said the conference will demonstrate that Guyana is a resource-rich country that can provide quality leadership for the development of sectors and contributions to the future.
This is the country’s third Energy Conference and Expo and expectations are high.
Guyana is now two years into oil production with a keen focus now on putting the framework in place to ensure citizens benefit in a well-regulated sector that offers spin-off profits to other sectors and industries.
The government has offered no financial assistance to the conference but has offered its support through the hosting of the three Heads of State and their delegations, Graham said.