Despite oil, gov’t keen on diversifying productive sectors -Finance Minister tells IsDB

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Despite prevailing challenging economic conditions, Guyana’s real gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to grow by 47.5 per cent at the end of 2022, driven mainly by oil production, but importantly, real growth of over seven per cent is projected for the non-oil economy.

In order to sustain this strong non-oil growth into the medium and longer-term, Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh said that the government is putting in place the prerequisites for diversifying the productive sector, improving competitiveness, and increasing resilience.

Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh at the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) Annual Meetings 2022 (Photo: Ministry of Finance)

Dr. Singh was at the time delivering an address at the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) Annual Meetings 2022 where he highlighted some of the government’s particular areas of focus to achieve that goal.

Guyana is investing in ramping up food production by expanding cultivation, while at the same time, widening the range of crops cultivated and animals reared, with a heavy focus on corn, soybean, and tropical varieties of wheat being focused on in the near term, the Finance Minister said.

Important for a competitive manufacturing sector, the government is investing in adequate, reliable, affordable, and cleaner electricity and is upgrading transport infrastructure which will also expand the country’s economic space and improve internal access.

On the climate resilience front, Dr. Singh said that investments will be made in coastal defences, flood control, and water management so the country will be able to better withstand the consequences of climate change.

He highlighted that despite Guyana becoming a new oil-producing state, the highest level of importance is still given to climate credentials which are being done through the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

The Finance Minister noted that as Guyana forges ahead, ​​IsDB will continue to be a “highly valued development partner” to the country.

He highlighted that the country is already at an advanced stage of developing new projects for its portfolio with the bank, including one in transport infrastructure that is due to go to the executive board in September.

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