The recently released 2018-2019 issue of INVEST, the official publication of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), focuses repeatedly and hardly unexpectedly on the prospects that inhere in the country’s significant oil and gas finds though the publication is mindful to underscore the government’s declared commitment to a Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) as “a catalyst for increased investment and sustainable development.”
Government, it appears, envisages impetus being provided for the unfolding of the GSDS over the next two decades through what it says will be “significant levels of financial input,” much of which, presumably, will come from revenues secured from the oil and gas sector. President David Granger, himself, in his message published in the current issue of INVEST Guyana, declares that “the prospect of becoming a petroleum state” will not stand in the way of the country moving “irreversibly towards the establishment of a green state, though only time, discipline and the practical demonstration of a national preference for environmental sensitivity over the potential lure of a profusion of petro- dollars (a full page back cover ExxonMobil advertisement and a profusion of a mix of articles and references to the dawn of the oil and gas era appearing in the publication attest to the ever present oil and gas factor in official thinking) may well provide clues to what might win out in the end.
If, on the one hand, the “private sector perspective” proffered in the publication articulates “high optimism” arising out of what it says is the transformation taking place “as oil production nears in 2020,” the unmistakable concession that the economy is underperforming at this time cannot be overlooked. Nowhere is this clearer than in the publication’s introductory article which excitedly parades “projections for major government investments,” the “continuous and changing (urban) skyline,” “tourism development opportunities” and the impending opening of the multi–million-dollar MovieTowne and Entertainment Complex as indicators of what it suggests are the uplifting economic times that lie ahead. ….