President Irfaan Ali, in his address at the Tuesday opening ceremony of the second installment of the Local Content Summit, emphasized the importance of transforming one’s mindset on optimizing local content gains.

He commended the careful selection of the conference’s theme, recognizing the crucial role it plays in guiding Guyana’s transition towards a prosperous future. Ali also stressed the necessity for collective effort and a shift towards fostering growth, urging a repositioning of perspectives.

The President also articulated that viewing local content merely as a means to achieve local objectives or participate solely in the local economy is limiting. Instead, he advocated for a broader vision, wherein local content serves as a catalyst for building capacity to compete globally. The ultimate goal, he asserted, should be to position Guyanese companies as leaders in the region, capable of seizing opportunities both locally and internationally.

“Because if we believe local content is about achieving local things, or participating on in the local economy, then we will be limiting ourselves and our growth,” he said.

The President added,”Local content is to build local capacity to compete anywhere else in the world and to position our local companies to be number one companies in the region. That should be the goal.”

Ali also underscored the significance of accelerating local growth and development to meet regional and global demands, emphasizing the need to reset mindsets accordingly.

Providing concrete examples of progress regarding local content, President Ali highlighted a significant increase in the value of local participation, citing a 20% rise between 2022 and 2024, equivalent to an $84 million increase in value.

Ali also outlined projections for the future, indicating a 5% increase in procurement activities from 2023 to 2024, with a notable 25% surge compared to 2022. Moreover, he emphasized the job creation potential, estimating that 6000 jobs were generated due to local content legislation.

Addressing operational challenges, the President acknowledged efforts to reduce payment periods to suppliers in the oil and gas sector, aiming for further improvements beyond the current 30 to 45-day timeframe.

“We saw a reduction in the payment period to suppliers because this was a major issue that we raised to 30 to 45 days. (However) we still feel that this is too long. (But) we’re going to address that in a moment,” he noted.

Further, the head of state highlighted a significant increase in the registration of local companies while acknowledging the tedious nature of combatting persistent issues such as fronting and rent-a-citizen practices.

Overall, President Ali emphasized the imperative of embracing a forward-thinking approach to local content; one that transcends local boundaries and positions Guyana as a regional powerhouse.


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