Black Immigrant Daily News
Guyana’s local content stipulations have raked in some US$700 million in businesses, which essentially translated into many job opportunities and a major spill-off effect in several other sectors.
This is according to the Director of the Local Content Secretariat, Dr Martin Pertab who was speaking at the International Energy Conference on Wednesday.
“Based on the latest estimate, and of course, we have received the half year’s local content plan that was submitted as of June of last year, and we are in the process now of receiving the performance report, we have estimated that local content has brought in an additional US$700 million in businesses,” Dr Pertab said.
He noted that the secretariat has managed to reduce the payment period for local companies, citing that previously, businesses were burdened by lengthy payment periods, more than 160 days in some instances.
“We have had discussions with local contractors, sub-contractors, and made it clear that most of these companies are quite small and given the lengthy payment period, those of course, could have a significant impact on the viability of these companies,” he added.
Going forward, Pertab said this year the focus will be on strengthening the existing law, particularly on the services it provides, noting that one of those areas is the definition of Guyanese companies.
He underscored that the agency is looking to issue an additional 750 local content certificates to registered businesses, as it accelerates plans to revise the local content law this year.
“Last year, we essentially tested the depth of the water, a feel of the industry. As of last year, we have managed to register in excess of 500 local companies… as of now, I think we are somewhere around 560,” he disclosed.
Dr Pertab said now that the law essentially privatises local companies and there are more opportunities available, more local businesses are coming on board.
Some of the new services the secretariat shortlisted are capable of bringing in an additional US$150 million to US$200 million in businesses, he asserted.
The secretariat was established during the fourth quarter of 2022, following the enactment of the Local Content Act.
It aims to ensure the prioritisation of Guyanese nationals and companies in procuring goods and services to enhance the petroleum sector and to enable local capacity development.
Over the past year, the focus has been on developing the secretariat’s institutional monitoring and administrative framework. Additionally, as part of its efforts, the Local Content Secretariat has developed a portal that lists all local companies registered with it. Through this portal, persons can access procurement, employment, and more opportunities.