As economic opportunities arising out of the advent of oil and gas as an economic resource become increasingly apparent, former Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Edward Boyer has said that he believes that local businesses “are achieving the high standards required for consideration” where local content opportunities are concerned.
As the 2020 dateline for ‘first oil’ draws closer Boyer said he believed that the PSC had worked “diligently” to make its members aware of the opportunities that reposed in the sector though he added that local content policy “must be balanced and advantageous to all parties.”
Meanwhile, for all his acknowledgement of the “accomplishments” of the coalition administration including initiatives that directly benefitted the local private sector, the immediate past Chairman of the local Private Sector Commission (PSC) also used his farewell presentation on Thursday June 20th to call for an enhanced relationship between government and the private sector.
Steering relatively clear of some of the tough criticism that government policy has encountered at the hands of the PSC from time to time during his tenure, Boyer instead complimented the administration on what he said were “a number of accomplishments” though he alluded to what he said were “a few areas which will still need to be addressed.”
The private sector, Boyer told his farewell Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the capacity of PSC Chairman, had noted, particularly, those positives embodied in the creation of the Public Procurement Commission, reduction in personal and corporate taxes and the lowering of the percentage applicable to Value Added Tax (VAT) as well as what he described as government’s determination “to address public private partnerships…and their recognition of the need for coexistence and collaboration.”
Unsurprisingly, however, Boyer also alluded to what he said was the private sector’s “grave concern” over “allegations of political involvement in the judicial system”. Turning to matters more directly applicable to the bilateral relationship between government and the private sector Boyer alluded to what he suggested were ongoing bureaucratic hindrances to “simplifying the means of going business.” Additionally, Boyer declared in his farewell presentation that the PSC was encouraging government “to create employment opportunities” in what he described as “a slowing economy, to generate wage growth and to seek out measures to increase wealth.”
And while his presentation contained no reference to the various differences that have arisen between government and the PSC during the tenure of the current administration Boyer said that it was his hope that “all levels of government would become friendlier to business as it is business that ultimately creates employment and economic growth.”
For all its less than upbeat assessment of the prevailing state of the economy the former PSC Chairman appeared to see some measure of economic light at the end of the tunnel as reflected in the fact that the advent of oil and gas has triggered encouraging investor interest in Guyana. “The potential influx of capital and growth in GDP has already resulted in foreign and local companies becoming interested in expanding through partnerships and investments,” Boyer told last Thursday’s AGM.