With an aim to improve the manner and ease with which business is conducted in Guyana, Business Minister Dominic Gaskin has a number of plans; one of high priority is the review of concessions granted to investors.
During an interview with Guyana Standard today, Gaskin said that the clamour for concessions in the oil and gas sector has been “unbelievable.” But the Business Minister said that he intends to tighten the grip on this so that the country does not lose out on much-needed taxes. He stressed, “It won’t be a free for all under my watch.”
The Business Minister said, “First of all, we need to review the concessions for the oil and gas sector so investors can know what they are legally entitled to. For now, the system is as such that you can negotiate one on one what the person can get and that leaves too much room for discretion or favouritism for the body recommending and the body granting it. We have lost out on millions of dollars to companies that way.”
The politician also emphasized that there will be no place for favoritism in this sector while noting that his Ministry has started the review of concessions for the oil sector.
He added, “You will get concessions based on how sound your plan is and the type of investment it is. We also need to clean up the current processes and look at what was granted to local entities and foreign companies in the sector to ensure it is within the law. It’s a key step towards leveling the playing field.”
On Wednesday last, Gaskin said that he started some work with the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) especially with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Owen Verwey.
He said that some preliminary discussions were conducted with Verwey and he will continue to follow up on a number of projects under the entity which would help to make doing business in Guyana easier.
GO-Invest is a government agency which provides advice and concessions, when necessary, to investors who are looking for the best way to start a business in Guyana. It also enables entrepreneurs from around the globe to tap into the wealth of trade and investment opportunities available in the country.