Private sector head stresses importance of local content policy for oil

Attendees at the private sector forum

The Private Sector Commission on Tuesday held an oil and gas seminar under the theme ‘Perspectives for the Local Private Sector’ for its members and the need for a beneficial local content policy was stressed.

Chairman of the body, Eddie Boyer said that the seminar’s objective “was to bring as many of the players in this sector together as possible” so that “at the end of the day we will all walk away with a better understanding of how, as Guyanese, we can succeed”.

Boyer underscored the need for an apt local content policy, which he said must be beneficial to both parties, the suppliers of goods and services and the recipient of goods and services.

“There must be trust and mentoring of business in this new industry. While we represent the private sector, we cannot work alone. We need to work hand in hand with Government to ensure that opportunities for fair competition is made possible. The question on hand for both parties is how important is this industry to us all. If the answer is very important, then success would be gained by collaboration between business and government,” he told about 50 attendees who participated at the session held at Duke Lodge, Duke Street, Kingston.

“Entrepreneurs must understand that there is no substitute for what is required. We must develop the skill to understand what is required and adopt best practices. There will be competition from our neighbours, who are oil and gas producers and we are aware of this competition at our doorsteps. However, I am sure that given the expertise and knowledge available to us we will enjoy the fruits of the new world open to us. We need to learn about this industry as much as we can, in the little time that we have, to keep our engine of growth purring. As a caution though, we should not invest blindly because of promises of prosperity but exercise due diligence and assess the investment risks,” he added. The PSC head said that the seminar brought together industry experts, managers, operators in the industry along with regulators so that attendees would be afforded the opportunity to listen to their experience and learn of possible expectations for the sector in the future.

“I do not believe that we are lacking in opportunities to capitalise on this emerging industry, nor do we need to start from scratch. There are many sources of expertise out there, and just as we invest to expand our businesses, we need to become more informed of this industry, we have to get critical information so that we can make better business decisions,” he said.

He also used the time to laud government for its recent announcement of the planned establishment of a Department of Energy which will be directly responsible for oil and gas, since he says the sector needs to be effectively managed and regulated by government.

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