Mohamed Irfaan Ali, Guyana’s president, says the oil and gas boom the country is currently thriving in has a potential to sway the economy to winds of increased revenue.
He said this at a Diaspora Outreach hosted by the consulate general of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana in TT at the Radisson Hotel, Wrightson Road, on Saturday.
According to him, the country had 18 billion barrels of proven reserve and by 2026 it should be producing 810,000 barrels per day.
However, he added that it would not be the country’s main focus, allowing room for diverse economic investments.
According to the President, the country lacked “the revenue and a fiscal space” to advance its development but it could do so now with that discovery.
“Oil and gas is just but an input to build out the other sectors and segments of the economy to be globally competitive and produce the wealth of the future.
“We have to invest in cutting edge technology, in research and development… We are working now on building our new city with an innovation village within that city, cutting edge jobs of the future. We’re not only working on jobs, we’re working on tech jobs, building a National Skills Training Development Centre that will be training the workforce for the future. And we’re starting with those at home, but you are part of home.”
On diversifying the economy, he said Guyanese contribute significantly to every aspect of global development and it was important to harness and concentrate the expertise, talents, skills and experience to develop and uplift Guyana and its people.
He said a country’s human resource was one of its most important assets and Guyana’s had to be fixed so it could support social and economic transformation.
“Let us understand fundamentally that fixing the human resource is not making everyone doctors, professors and lawyers. Fixing the human resource problem starts with fixing ourselves, fixing the way we think, fixing the way we act, fixing the way we behave, fixing the way we see each other, fixing who we are and what we were created for.”
Capitalizing on the country’s dense forest, Irfaan Ali said his administration was looking into increasing production including animal feed, poultry, rice, and vegetables, as well as using hydroponics to produce fruits and berries that were usually imported.
It also wants to eventually position the country as a leader in tourism, and reduce the cost of electricity by 50 per cent by 2025 to benefit the people and sectors such as manufacturing and industrial development.
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