President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Deodat Indar on Monday used his wide-ranging address at the 129th Annual General Meeting of one of the country’s key Business Support Organisations to underscore the central role he said the Chamber has played in helping to ready the country for what could be the most significant developmental initiative in its history – the management of the anticipated huge returns from the oil and gas industry.
Much of the public discourse on oil and gas and its significance for the country’s development revolves around the desirability of Guyana creating mechanisms to ensure both the prudent management of returns from the sector and the optimising of such local content opportunities as might accrue to the country. In view of this, Indar told the gathering at the Pegasus Hotel that the Chamber’s recently established Petroleum Commit-tee had not only continually engaged “multiple levels of government of government and policy makers on legislation and regulations that impact the petroleum industry,” but senior Chamber officials, during 2018, had also been involved in visits to Canada and Scotland, which undertakings had served to broaden their horizons on the oil and gas industry.
Having set itself the goal of contributing meaningfully to a robust private sector position on the sector, Indar told attendees that “The Chamber’s Petroleum Committee was concerned with developing programmes and recommending policy and legislation amendments that can contribute to the petroleum industry and its development.” In the process, Indar said, the Chamber was focussed on organising and conducting public forums, business to business meetings, trade missions and other activities related to the petroleum industry. In pursuit of these objectives, Indar stated that the Committee had been instrumental in “reviewing and commenting on the Local Content draft policies as well as assisting in crafting the model Local Content legislation.” He added that the Chamber’s Petroleum Committee had also been engaged in reviewing other “critical areas” of the oil and gas industry including the Natural Resources Fund Green Paper and Guyana’s version of the Sovereign Wealth Fund while simultaneously meeting with key agencies and figures in the petroleum industry including the Department of Energy, the Ministry of Business, the Environmental Protec-tion Agency and the Maritime Adminis-tration Department.
The GCCI’s Petroleum Committee has been involved in high-profile visits to Canada and Scotland on oil and gas-related fact finding missions. Earlier this year the Chamber hosted its inaugural Energy Forum which examined the Natural Resources Fund in detail and facilitated exchanges amongst participants. The Forum also facilitated discourses on projects designed to promote sustainable energy in Guyana.