Jamaican Business Minister backs local content focus in Guyana
… Encourages large Jamaica business delegation to find partners
Jamaicans believe that there are abundant business opportunities in Guyana and the country’s Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Aubyn Hill said Tuesday that the Guyana Government’s focus on local content is no deterrent.
Hill is leading a 75-member business delegation to Guyana, just three months after he visited the country with a smaller delegation.
According to him, Jamaican companies are deeply interested in entering the local market. He has encouraged them to look for Guyanese partners for their new ventures.
“I like the Guyanese content arrangement for government contracts,” he told reporters after an engagement between government ministers and members of the Jamaica delegation on Tuesday.
He added, “I think it is a good policy, I don’t see we have any problems at all.”
Guyana’s Local Content law seeks to boost Guyanese participation in the oil and gas sector, giving priority to nationals and locally-owned companies. Foreign companies seeking to provide goods and services in several areas within this sector are required to find Guyanese partners.
And Hill acknowledged that such a focus is important to ensure that local needs are met. He also contended that Jamaican business may benefit from having those local partners to better interface with other Guyanese.
Moments before Minister Hill spoke to reporters, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh told the delegation that the government has a responsibility to ensure that Guyanese are employed.
“Our first priority is getting as many Guyanese into jobs.
“Where skills are needed that are not available in Guyana, we are open and receptive to having those in Guyana,” Dr. Singh said.
He, however, clarified that the government is not opposed to foreign participation in the local economy. He even told the Jamaicans of the abundant investment opportunities in Guyana ranging from Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and housing, to renewable energy and logistics.
And indeed, Hill told reporters that Jamaican companies that have established themselves in various sectors are in Guyana seeking partnerships and investment opportunities.