Since losing the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections, the PPP has deliberately set out to destabilise the Coalition government. The PPP in the person of Bharrat Jagdeo has engaged in a weekly coalition bashing, hoping to drown out the symphony of progress that is taking place in every region of Guyana.
Over the last forty-two months, the behaviour of this former President has harmed rather than helped the Republic. Instead of advocating for a one-nation policy; working to eradicate ethnic rivalries, fear and distrust. This leader of the PPP has chosen to do the opposite.
By their daily criticism of everything that is done by the Coalition government and its leaders, the PPP’s strategy is to stoke fear, doubt and hopelessness in the minds of the people. They are hoping that the people will forget their 30 years of misrule, corruption, nepotism, favouritism, murder and hate. They are hoping that their gloom and doom message, will blind the gullible to the steady progress that has been made and continue to be made under this government.
Thankfully, most Guyanese are committed to working towards and unified Guyana. Thankfully, the APNU+AFC coalition has been making every effort and is committed to working towards a unified Guyana. The government, over the past four years, has worked assiduously to ensure that Guyanese have a better understanding and appreciation of each other, so as to forge consensus and ultimately, a united and developed Guyana. In 2015, we made several promises to the nation and we have kept and continue to keep those promises.
On June 27 NASDAQ released a ranking of the five fastest growing economies in the world. Guyana topped that list with a 16.3 per cent growth rate over a four-year period, from 2018-2021. As for Guyana’s gross domestic product (GDP) NASDAQ predicts that the 2019 GDP growth rate will be 4.6 per cent and expects that in 2020 and 2121, the economy will grow by 33.5 per cent and 22.9 per cent respectively.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also reported strong predictions for Guyana’s economy. The preliminary results of the Staff Concluding Statement of the 2019 Article IV Mission states that, “Economic growth strengthened in 2018 with broad-based expansion across all major sectors. Real GDP grew by 4.1 percent in 2018, up from 2.1 percent in 2017, led by construction and services sectors. Inflation remained steady at 1.6 percent at end-2018, on the back of stable food prices and exchange rate. For 2019, the mission projects real economic growth of 4.4 percent, driven by continued strength in the construction and services sectors ahead of oil production in 2020, and strong recovery in mining.”
In March, the Caribbean Development Bank released its Country Economic Review of 2018 for Guyana. It stated that, “economic growth is estimated to have risen in 2018. Based on Ministry of Finance data, GDP grew by 3.4%, compared with 2.2% in 2017. This partly reflected preparation for the first commercial oil production in 2020. Construction activity rose by 12%. Output from other services was up 15%, linked to increased visitor arrivals…Inflation averaged 1.4% in 2018, compared with 1.6% in 2017. The decrease reflected lower price rises for food and for housing.” Guyana, the CDB says, is on the verge of sharp increase of economic growth in the coming years.
Since President David Granger’s election, Guyana has been moving in the right direction. In a major signal of the progress that is being made, the IMF has issued a report highlighting the strong pace of growth of the Guyanese economy. This comes after the President David Granger-led administration implemented a host of policies and reforms to strengthen the economy, boost growth and fix the mistakes of the previous PPP government.
The IMF highlights that “Guyana’s economic growth strengthened in 2018 with broad-based expansion across all major sectors. Real GDP grew by 4.1 percent, led by construction and services sectors, up from 2.1 percent in 2017.” This has been underpinned by the government’s efforts to build sustainable industries to create long term, better paying jobs for people and improve standards of living.
The IMF also noted that the “Directors welcomed Guyana’s broad based economic expansion in recent years underpinned by prudent macroeconomic policies. Directors noted that the medium term outlook is favourable…” With a favourable medium-term outlook, Guyana can expect the progress to continue under David Granger’s leadership. With honest leadership, Guyanese can be confident that we will deliver more jobs for people, better wages, better education as the economy transforms, and ensure that our communities are made safer.
On the other hand, the PPP has put forward an individual who has been less than convincing in this regard, to say the least. This is the clearest indication yet, that they have not changed. With the commencement of oil revenues Guyana stands to be thrown into a state of chaos should the PPP return to government – it is clear that they intend to use the presidency to get their hands on the country’s oil wealth and enrich themselves and their cronies.
The IMF emphasised that “policies should focus on reducing macroeconomic vulnerabilities, addressing structural weaknesses, boosting inclusive growth, and promoting intergenerational equity” are important to ensuring oil revenues benefit all Guyanese and future generations. On each of these areas the PPP failed completely during their 23 years in government.
The PPP have proven they cannot reduce macro-economic vulnerabilities, after they failed to invest into strengthening industries and innovation to weather changes in global market trends. Our sugar industry now sits in tatters as a result of the PPP’s failure.
Irfaan Ali cannot be trusted to address structural weaknesses, in fact, Irfaan Ali and his party are responsible for many of Guyana’s current structural issues. Look no further than the education system – their neglect has resulted in a massive skills deficit in Guyana, limiting job options for young people and slowing economic growth.
The commencement of oil revenues calls for honest leadership and a clear vision for policies and growth, neither of which relates to Irfaan Ali. He cannot be trusted with the country’s economy.
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