Internationally renowned news outfit, Bloomberg, has said that while the world “may be falling into its worst recession in almost a century,” Guyana’s economy, even though relatively small, is still forecast to grow 53% this year.
Bloomberg quoted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its World Economic Outlook published on Tuesday as saying that Guyana will enjoy by far the world’s fastest expansion, and will be the only country in the Americas to see any growth at all in 2020.
That is, despite a warning from major powers around the world including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union and other allies, that Guyana risks international isolation and sanctions over attempts at electoral fraud in the country’s national elections last month and a collapse in oil prices.
The coronavirus pandemic, the slump in oil prices and Guyana’s own political crisis have still taken a partial toll on the country’s outlook: the IMF had forecast 2020 growth of 86% last October.
The economy is likely to outperform anyway despite the political noise, as Exxon has forecast that Guyana will produce at least 750,000 barrels of oil a day by 2025, from zero just a few months ago.
“The country is in the process of becoming a major oil producer, as it starts to tap massive offshore fields which are estimated to hold 8 billion barrels of crude. Energy companies including Exxon Mobil Corp, Hess Corporation, China’s CNOOC Ltd. and Tullow Oil Plc have invested in the country,” Bloomberg said.
Since the General and Regional Elections were held close to six weeks ago, a winner is yet to be announced. The majority of observers who scrutinised the tabulation process for District Four have pronounced it to have not been credible.
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) itself had come in for much of the criticisms, with repeated attempts being made by Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo to subvert the process going unchecked by the Chairwoman.
Despite Chairperson Justice Claudette Singh promising that she would facilitate a recount of the votes, attempts to have the recount done at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre never took off because of delays, more controversy and ultimately, a member of the coalition party securing an injunction from High Court Judge Franklyn Holder against the exercise.
The injunction was then thrown out by the Full Court and the Appeal Court upheld this decision, leaving the way clear for GECOM to conduct its recount and finally determine a winner of the elections.
But when given a chance to draft a proposed plan for the recount, Lowenfield drafted one that said the recount would last 156 days.
After a firestorm of criticism, Lowenfield was ordered to return to the drawing board and revise his proposal.
The Commission is expected to meet again today to finalise a plan so that the recount process would move ahead.