A leading Caribbean business executive is urging Guyana to guard against possible economic pitfalls that accompany the commercial production of oil.
Addressing the opening of Massy’s Supermarket at Providence, East Bank Demerara, President and Chief Executive Officer of Massy Group, Gervase Warner, urged Guyana to use its expected oil wealth wisely.
“There is a lot that can happen in the oil and gas industry in Guyana. It is really a ‘dutch disease’ so I really hope that when oil does come and it comes big, that it is really used to continue the transformational path that Guyana is pursuing,” the businessman told the gathering of government and private sector representatives including an official of the oil exploration company, REPSOL.
Warner’s reference to the likely economic consequences that could arise from the oil and gas sector, came against the background of ExxonMobil discovering deposit of high quality crude oil offshore Guyana, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.
Making reference to the economic downturn in Trinidad and Tobago as a result of the huge slide in the international oil price, Warner sounded a word of caution. “We have had and enjoyed the benefit of that in Trinidad and Tobago and we understand when things go…it makes for great difficulty,” he said.
Warner called on authorities in Guyana to “collaborate with these multinationals” to “do it right” because it is a “great opportunity for a new day.”
The Government has announced that it would ask the National Assembly to approve the creation of a sovereign wealth fund so that earnings from all the country’s natural resources, including oil and gas, would be managed in a manner that benefits all Guyanese.