Local Content Policy to secure some sectors “completely” for locals

Guyana’s Local Content Policy should be able to specify which areas of business would be “completely” for local supplies, says President Mohamed Irfaan Ali. The President was at the time addressing the opening of a stakeholders consultation on the long awaited Local Content Policy.

“There is certain level of business from the oil and gas sector, from the forward linkages and backward linkages of the oil and gas sector that we have to crave out and say these areas are completely for local supplies,” President Ali told the forum which was attended by oil industry executives, members of the private sector and several critical agencies.

The President said that there are some levels of services that Guyanese have done most of their lives, “brokerage services for example, we have services Guyanese who are investing in rental, for rental opportunities, office space and complexes, part of the construction boom, that that investors are hoping would be supported by the demand for oil and gas, and these are the lower level investors, these are not the sophisticated investors, we we have to identify that level of investors too, and in the local content policy framework, ensure that they are protected,” Ali said.

President  told the forum that a space for local business has to be “defined”. “Businesses are coming in, we are not here to say that we want to minimise foreign investment, that would be to our detriment,” the Head of State said, “but we want the investors who are coming in to recognise that through a legislative mechanism, through regulations, through institutions, that they have to commit to local content and not only commit to local content but we are going to move with you in setting targets, as to the levels of local content,” President Ali concluded.

Additionally,  President Ali said that the government recognises difficulties facing local business, “there is an existing gap  in levels of capital, an existing gap in human resources capacity, an existing gap in technology, we recognise that there is an existing gap,” Ali lamented, “but in recognising that there is an existing gap we have to put the systems in place now to quickly bridge that gap,” the President said

The government is expected to engage in a month long consultation on this policy.