Trinidadian says Guyana’s local content law helping to expand business reach


Guyana’s local content law provides a delicate balance between the operations of local and foreign companies in Guyana but Trinidadian businessman Shaun Rampersad says that the law can actually help foreign businesses expand their reach in Guyana.

Rampersad, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Ramps Logistics, told the News Room during a recent interview that this law should not be viewed as a hindrance to foreign investment.

Shaun Rampersad, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Ramps Logistics

The First Schedule of the law sets 40 areas – from transportation to legal services – under which Guyanese companies should be used, detailing the percentage requirement by the end of 2022.

Because of the provisions of the local content law, joint ventures have become increasingly important in helping foreign companies participate in the local sector while simultaneously building Guyanese competency.

“Because we were forced to really become compliant, what that did is that it forced us to really look at the Guyanese businesses and the Guyanese diaspora to see where we can find partners to work with,” Rampersad related.

This process of seeking compatible partners enabled Ramps Logistics to expand its business reach in Guyana, the COO said.

“We don’t have much business in the mining sector (but) now that we have partnered with [the Roraima Group of Companies] on a particular joint venture, it has allowed us to really get more involved in the mining sector,” Rampersad explained.

Ramps Logistics Guyana, the Guyanese major-owned entity of the Trinidadian company, has partnered with GK Logistics, a local company affiliated with the Roraima Group of Companies, in a bid to establish itself as a new logistics powerhouse in the Caribbean.

The joint venture partnership has led to the creation of Arapaima Logistics Incorporated. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing this new company was signed last month at the Roraima Duke Lodge in Kingston, Georgetown.

There are several similar opportunities abound for foreign companies because of the numerous viable sectors in Guyana, the COO said further.

Gerry Gouveia Jr., Director of GK Logistics (right) and Rudy Rampersaud, Vice President of Regional Initiatives at Ramps Logistics finalising their new joint venture: Arapaima Logistics Inc (Photo: News Room/ February 19, 2022)

Meanwhile Rampersad also posited that Guyanese authorities should have the right to determine how locals can benefit from the nascent, lucrative oil and gas industry. This is a position advanced by local private sector players and even other Caribbean leaders.

“I don’t think that as a non-Guyanese I should tell the Guyanese how to do their local content,” Rampersad said.

He, however, noted that as a foreign investor, he is still an important stakeholder. Illustrating the importance of his foreign investment, the COO highlighted that Ramps Logistics Guyana employs about 500 people.

Because he believes foreign investors like himself are key stakeholders, he says there needs to be clarity and transparency on what the rules of operating in Guyana are.

“And I think this has been done.

“Every single company has seen exactly what the rules are and then you decide whether you want to remain in Guyana and play by these new rules or if you don’t, then of course, you have the ability to pack up and leave as well,” Rampersad said.

Contextually, there have been talks on Guyana’s new local content law with concerns that this shuts out regional citizens from participating in the local oil and gas sector and infringes on Guyana’s free trade obligations under the CARICOM’s central agreement – the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

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