Given their mutual interest in shared prosperity and sustainable economic development, Guyana and Suriname have pursued several joint initiatives to help realize the true potential of their oil discoveries while keeping the dreaded resource curse at bay. Towards this end, President, Irfaan Ali disclosed yesterday at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC) that both countries will pursue a joint local content platform and gas strategy.
With respect to the former, Ali said both nations have decided to collaborate and develop a joint approach and strategy on the development of their human resources to meet the growing industry requirement. In this regard, Ali said Suriname was kind to offer, with immediate effect, key training opportunities for young Guyanese. In this regard, he said Guyanese will have the opportunity to be trained at Staatsolie, Suriname’s National Oil Company. “As you know, they are advanced in the certification of key areas in the oil and gas sector, for example, welding, and we have identified this is an area where they can help our human resource base to become certified to participate in this sector,” expressed President Ali.
The Head of State added, “We have decided that we will create a local content platform that will support both countries in terms of the opportunities that will come not only from this sector but other areas in our economy. The private sector organizations of Guyana and Suriname were critically involved in these discussions.” Further to this, Ali said Guyana has already committed to sharing in detail, its work on the draft local content legislation so that there can be as much synergy as possible with Suriname.
As regards the potential of gas development in Guyana and Suriname, Ali said both nations have decided that a working group would be established to create a joint gas strategy. He was keen to note however that this strategy would be linked to the frontier development of both Guyana and Suriname. This includes ensuring gas is used to boost industries such as agriculture and manufacturing as well as in the bauxite industry on both sides.
The Head of State said these would be part of that strategic outlook in developing opportunities and exploiting the great potential on both sides of the Corentyne River. In conclusion, Ali said, “We are not in a competition but we are in a journey of cooperating with each other to maximize the benefits for our people in order to ensure that we do it successfully so that we would have synergies in terms of infrastructure and the use of infrastructure.”