Feb 16, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, opened national consultations on the Local Content Policy yesterday, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), during which he said that though the policy is heavily targeted for the oil industry, its strategies will guide the development of every sector.
“If you are under the mistaken belief that local content is about oil and gas alone,” Dr. Ali said, “then we’ll be commencing the development of this document from the wrong perspective. Whilst the oil and gas sector would be one that will be critically targeted in a local content strategy, the local content strategy is an overarching strategy that will cover every single sector of our development as a country.”
Government will be in public consultations for the next month, to guide the finalisation of the policy. The draft document, which Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, said was internally compiled, was made public in-keeping with the administration’s promise to make the process transparent by publishing all local content reports.
The President noted that, as the country grows, the document will have to continuously evolve to keep up.
“The Local Content Policy has to be a living policy,” he told stakeholders. “It has to be a policy that is flexible, a policy that is responsive, a policy that has great clarity, a policy that sets the framework through which all those who are engaged, not only in the oil and gas sector, would understand fully what is their role in local content.”
The President sought to note that the goal of a local content push is not to minimise foreign investment, as that would be to Guyana’s detriment.
“But we want the investors who are coming in to recognise that through legislative mechanisms, through regulations, through institutions that they have to commit to local content; and not only committed to local content, but we are going to move with you in setting targets as to the levels of local content.”
Dr. Ali said that local content is about increasing the level of business that will come to local companies, through capacity building so that businesses become globally competitive.
“In recognising that there is an existing gap,” the President said, “we have to put systems in place now to quickly bridge that gap. In the intervening period, while we bridge this gap, we are saying that we also have to define a space for local business and local participation.”
The local content advisory panel spearheading Guyana’s local content push, comprises Chairman, Shyam Nokta; former Foreign Minister, Carl Greenidge; Trinidadian local content expert, Anthony Paul; former Trinidad energy minister, Kevin Ramnarine; trade unionist, Carvil Duncan, and accountant, Floyd Haynes.
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