Business Minister, Dominic Gaskin acknowledged yesterday that Guyana’s Local Content Policy should have been completed a long time ago. He noted however that there are certain challenges which are affecting the process to finalize the document.
The most significant he said relates to finding the funds to pay a consultant to complete the task.
In an exclusive interview with the Guyana Standard yesterday, Gaskin said, “When we took on the job of finishing this document, we did not budget for it. It was handed to us in early 2018, months after we had put together our budget. Plus, when we got it, the contract with Trinidadian Oil Expert, Anthony Paul came to an end. Paul fulfilled his terms. We are in need of a consultant. But we just don’t have the funds.”
The Business Minister said that he is now looking to the Ministry of Finance or international aid to help fund finalization process for the policy. He also emphasized that ExxonMobil would not be approached for funds.
In the meantime, Gaskin said that several stakeholders such as the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) were consulted on the second draft policy. He said that the Chamber is supposed to make a presentation to the Business Ministry on their amendments for the second draft.
The Minister said, “But in the absence of a Local Content Policy, I don’t think our businesses need to be scared or fearful that countries are going to come and hijack everything. I am not paranoid about it and they don’t have to be. Don’t think all foreigners are your enemies. People will go where there are opportunities and we need to start doing the same thing and be aggressive…”
Gaskin assured that the Local Content Policy will be ready in early 2019.