The title of being the fastest growing economy in the world is not one for Guyanese to take for granted. Now more than ever, investors both here and abroad are eager to bring their capital once they can be assured that the pillars of justice remain strong. On this premise, Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said recent developments in ExxonMobil’s financial assurance case serve to imbue investors with the confidence that the laws in Guyana are fairly applied.
The case in question pertains to a stay of execution that was issued on June 7, 2023 by Appellate Court Judge Justice Rishi Persaud. The stay was applied to an order for an Exxon-led consortium in the Stabroek Block to provide unlimited parent and/or affiliate company guarantee for the Liza Phase One Project. In the meantime, Exxon has 10 days to lodge a US$2B parent guarantee or the stay would be lifted.
The original order was issued on May 3, 2023 by High Court Judge, Justice Sandil Kissoon following a case filed by two Guyanese last year.
As steps commence for an urgent hearing of the appeals made by Exxon and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before the Full Bench of the Appellate Court, Dr. Jagdeo alluded that the case is one that is under global scrutiny. He said too that the stay issued by Justice Persaud may even go down well globally.
That aside, he noted that the judiciary has to act fairly in every case. “We can’t tell the judiciary what positions to make and they must not make those decisions because of some international imperative. But if international investors and local people too, if they can get a fair and predictable application of the law then a predictable, objective judiciary lends great confidence to locals and foreign investors,” the Vice President said.
At the end of the day, he said the government’s only intention is to ensure Guyana is regarded as a modern, sophisticated jurisdiction, adding that dispute resolution is crucial to a nation’s ability to attract investment.