‘Guyana isn’t trying to be like Qatar or Dubai’ – Jagdeo


Balancing oil and gas development with forest preservation and low carbon development is Guyana’s focus and for that reason, the country’s Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo emphasised that the tiny South American nation isn’t trying to become like any other state.

“We’re not going to be Qatar or the (United Arab Emirates). We don’t want to be, they are different countries.

“Our model would be different but it will be one where the people of this country, in the future, will enjoy some of the best standard of living in the world,” the Vice President said as he opened the second day of the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo.

Those Middle Eastern countries stand out as nations that have been able to harness substantial oil and gas resources to become wealthy, well-developed nations.

But Jagdeo explained that Guyana isn’t only oil-rich and it isn’t depending only on oil to fuel its development.

In fact, he pointed out that Guyana is hugely focused on sustainable development that leverages the country’s long standing commitment to protecting its more than 18 million hectares of forests.

One way the country believes it can now earn from forest conservation is by earning money- possibly about US$3 billion- from carbon credit payments. It already has a sizable deal with the Hess Corporation and it is using funds to support Indigenous communities and climate adaptation needs.

Beyond forest conservation, Jagdeo said the government now has to invest heavily in public infrastructure like new schools, hospitals and roadways. And he said the increasing national budgets evidence the government’s spending on the infrastructure needed, even as it keeps watch on the country’s debt.

The conference is being hosted at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown.

Though a majority of the discussions are centered on Guyana’s nascent, exciting oil and gas sector, the Vice President urged stakeholders to focus also on Guyana’s environmental credentials and low carbon development plans.

He urged them to do so as he made the point that the government is aware of the common pitfalls oil-rich countries encounter. He also underscored that Guyana is, and has been, aware of the harsh realities of climate change.

So, he opined that the government is working to guarantee that investments in Guyana match the country’s priorities and would be safe.

“…I want to ensure you that your investments in this country will be safe, that you will have a government that balanced the interests and the need to do well… to ensure that the country benefits too,” Jagdeo said.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.