- Recommits to increasing capacity through training, certification
Georgetown, Guyana (April 29, 2021) His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali, yesterday, reiterated that the Government will continue to invest in citizens and local businesses to ensure that they become competitive in the oil and gas sector.
President Ali was at the time responding to questions from the media at a press conference at State House.
He stressed that the Government is investing in the capacity of citizens and local businesses through training and certification.
“Let me make it very, very clear to all out there, as long as we have the capacity locally… the Government will support the training and certification of persons….”
President Ali emphasised that local companies must become competitive to benefit from jobs that will come to Guyana.
“We have to understand, first of all, the environment we are operating in. Our competitors are very sophisticated companies. They are shrewd. They are in the business a long time. They know the corners.”
He said that while Guyana has a history of family-owned businesses, there is no history of businesses forming consortiums. This, he said, is important for local businesses to become more competitive.
“How do we build consortiums? How do we build partnerships?”
The President added that businesses should not be satisfied with just being associates of international companies and “getting a little piece”.
He said that under his watch, he would encourage local businesses to go after big opportunities, and to position themselves to benefit from those that should be done by Guyanese.
“You cannot tell me that a company from out of Guyana will come here and provide brokerage service in Guyana… That will not be tolerated, it cannot be accepted.”
Referencing the example of a logistics company, President Ali said that there is a need for local companies to be “flexible and nimble” and to provide a variety of services.
“So, if you are providing a service to a company you have to have a health arm, a brokerage arm, a transportation arm. And that is what we have to develop and that is the type of capacity we have to build in order to get that competitiveness.”
FILLING THE GAP
President Ali stressed that the oil companies must make it “very clear” what the requirements are for every service needed.
“We must have an assessment as to where we are in meeting those requirements and then together as government and people, we build a system to fill the gap, so we meet that requirement at the shortest possible time and if the oil companies themselves are keen on the development of the country that is supporting their investment and giving them a return on investment, then they must also be keen on providing opportunities for that country.”
However, he noted that this does not equate to closing out external investment since there are certain services that the country does not have the capacity to fulfil.
“We welcome external investment, but we also want to see some of those investment in the transformative aspect of our country and that is why we have been paying so much attention on addressing other potential in our country; ecotourism, energy [and] tremendous opportunity for production.”
He pointed to the recent consortium formed among local poultry producers that will see them moving towards corn and soya production to meet the local feed import requirement. This he noted will create the backward linkage to generate jobs, save foreign currency and open up opportunities; which he said is the type of development the Government is focused on creating.