February 25, 2018

‘Business community not sleeping’ – Private Sector head

… says steps being taken to grasp opportunities from emerging oil sector

As the first-ever oil summit and exhibition was launched on Wednesday, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) spared no effort in reminding Government of the need to be transparent in its work especially, as it relates to the oil and gas industry as it called for the establishment of a good governance system to oversee the sector.
In delivering his address, PSC Chairman Eddie Boyer urged that the Government ensure there were a well-managed Sovereign Wealth Fund and a transparent Petroleum Commission. Boyer said that the PSC has been paying keen attention to the sector and would play a large part in its development.
The PSC Head said his organisation would like to see stability of Guyana as a democracy “and our interest in the oil and gas sector maintained with clear frameworks of sector development, strong local content policy and a well-managed Sovereign Wealth Fund”.
Boyer declared, “The Guyanese business community, though inexperienced, is not sleeping. We are aware of the developments and we are educating and informing ourselves about this new sector to grasp every opportunity. We will continue to expand on that in the coming months.”
He also used the opportunity to encourage the several hundred delegates attending the conference, to see Guyana as an investment opportunity not only in oil and gas but in other critical sectors.
In her remarks, Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) Chairperson Patricia Bacchus urged investors to cultivate strong business relations with the view of tapping into the oil and gas industry.
“This forum is also critical to the development of meaningful sector and cross-sector relationships, as it provides the opportunity for networking among those involved in oil and gas, and those involved in the provision of related products and services,” she explained.
Similarly, for participants, especially Guyanese participants interested in operating in this new sector, Bacchus said they would benefit from relevant expert presentations through which insight into the sector’s best practices could be gained and then subsequently manifested in the way business is done in Guyana.

Guyana’s first-ever oil summit and exhibition, GIPEX 2018, was
launched on Wednesday at the Georgetown Marriott by Natural
Resources Minister Raphael Trotman in the presence of his
ministerial colleagues and other officials

While noting that Guyana has recorded stable macro-economic growth over the last eight years, she also pointed out that there has always been a dire need to diversify the economic base.
“The advent of the oil and gas sector is, therefore, regarded as a significant step in the country’s economic diversification efforts, and we hope that it is the springboard through which wider economic diversification can be facilitated,” she added.
The GO-Invest Chair said though Guyana, with its young economy, provides immense opportunities for investors, and she urged all the participants to view the gaps in the economic activities not as shortcomings but as opportunities. “GIPEX provides a forum through which the emerging oil and gas sector can be carefully explored, with a view to determining the various economic opportunities along the value chain, which are ripe for investment.”
No-show
Meanwhile, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman delivered the keynote address although President David Granger was listed to deliver the address. Prior to that, Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge gave brief remarks. While a few Cabinet Ministers were present, the President was notably absent.
No reason or explanation was given for the President’s absence at such an important national event, which was heavily promoted by the Government.
Trotman told the opening that while Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is relatively low, he also believes in the predictions made by leading global economists that there will be growth of 2000 per cent within two decades.
“At this juncture in our national development, being at a place where we will travel on a fast and furious trajectory, we don’t want simply to be known as an oil-producing nation, but rather as a country that took its resources and revenues – and used them to fashion

The University of Guyana hosted the discussion on the day the inaugural Guyana International Petroleum Business Summit (GEPEX) opened and his absence from the event was notable.
When asked about that, he told reporters that he was never invited to the event despite his boss, President David Granger, being listed as one of the speakers.
“I was not invited to go so that’s the main reason. If you looked at the website, you will see President Granger picture was there. I would assume he was invited,” he said.
However, the President was a no show at the event.