Despite the pending introduction of a Local Content Policy, there is increased interest from foreign investors who are looking to take a bite out of Guyana’s oil pie. So said President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Nicholas Boyer.
The businessman’s comment comes at a time when there is speculation regarding the introduction of a Local Content Policy into the sector. There are some factions of society, who believe that the implementation of such a policy, may serve as a deterrent to foreign investors.
On the other hand, there are some who are championing the enactment of the policy because it will ensure that local businesses and individuals are afforded a place in the industry.
A third draft of the policy was introduced weeks ago when some local shareholders raised several red-flags.
Boyer, who attended the recently concluded Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition held in Aberdeen, Scotland, said that the response from foreign investors was “heartening”.
“In a number of my meetings in Scotland, I did not find anyone who felt disenchanted, disheartened, or uninterested in the [Guyana] market because there was talk about an implementation of a Local Content Policy, and possibly, legislation,” Boyer said.
The GCCI President said that the lack of objection might have stemmed from the fact that other oil-producing nations have such policies in place, and that this was highly accepted as part and parcel of the industry.
” I think everybody there understood that across the world, there are a number of jurisdictions who have put local content policies and legislation in place…So, I think it was very heartening for me, to hear these companies saying [that] they were happy to work with Guyanese partners as well as hire local Guyanese and train them,” Boyer said.
He noted further that regardless of whether the policy is in place, foreign investors still made known their intention to partner with Guyanese companies and the citizenry. Boyer opined that nevertheless, the policy will guide these investors in achieving and maintaining partnerships while offering some adaptability to Guyana’s business climate.
“Regardless of whether the policy was in place, they said that they were going to do this, but policy helps them to understand the framework in which to do this and gives them a guideline in terms of how to plan so that they can tailor their operations in Guyana to suit,” he said.
SPE Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition is dubbed the largest exploration/production event in Europe, and one of the largest in the world which attracts some 37,000 attendees.
“We in the Chamber of Commerce and the Private Sector of Guyana felt that it was important to attend because it is through these networking events, that we learn, inculcate knowledge, have the experienced networking and meet with companies who vend products and services to the industry,” Boyer said.