Aug 03, 2020 News
Guyana’s agriculture and mining sectors have been least affected by the COVID -19 pandemic. This is according to a quarterly bulletin by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The financial institution noted that agriculture and mining were the largest sectors of the Guyanese economy before oil production, representing approximately 16 and 14% of Gross Domestic Product respectively.
Expounding further, the IDB said that the mining sector is expected to benefit from higher profit margins due to lower fuel costs and higher prices of gold. Globally, the IDB said the price of gold increased from US$ 1,400 at the end of June 2019 to approximately US$ 1,720 currently— a 23% increase.
Despite the favourable financial conditions, the IDB noted that the public health situation and travel restrictions have affected both gold and bauxite operations in terms of worker availability with the private sector prioritizing the safety of workers.
Turning its attention to agriculture, the IDB painted an optimistic picture for the future of the industry as it noted that there was a fall in demand for rice in Europe which was offset by a greater demand within the region. After gold, rice is Guyana’s greatest export representing approximately 14% of total exports.
In the meantime, the report noted that the other sectors of the economy are expected to have varied outcomes.
“Private sector authorities have reported that construction, retail and tourism have been negatively affected, while food manufacturing and fish production have not been significantly affected.
The three largest sectors following agriculture and mining are retail sales, construction, and transportation making up 35% of the economy,” the quarterly report outlined.
In terms of tax revenue collections, the IDB said that both Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and tax collections are generally expected to contract across the region in 2020.
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