Guyana’s economy is booming and here is why - Emerging Markets Today Guest Article

Emerging Markets Today Frontier Market Guyana South America Caricom Sc3 Smart City Clearing Company Asset Manager Merchant Banker Steven Jasmin Caribbean


This article first appeared as a Guest Post in Emerging Markets Today on June 16 2021


Guest post by Steven Jasmin, Managing Director of Smart City Clearing Company Ltd

I first arrived in Georgetown Guyana in June of 2017, at the time Esso Guyana (a JV owned by ExxonMobil, Hess, and CNOC Nexen) had recently discovered oil and had announced the finds of their first wells and Guyana was already on its way to becoming one of the largest oil producers in the world with over 2 Billion Barrels of oil confirmed.

Fast forward 4 years later and the resource has grown to over 10 Billion barrels and is continuing to grow, the country is now one of the world’s most recent oil producing nations, and has an all in cost of production between $20-25 USD a barrel once the fields are fully up and running. First oil was produced on December 21, 2019 – a day that Guyana will never forget and is now averaging close to 120,000 barrels a day in production.   To date the field has provided over 350mm in additional income and things are just beginning. Most analysts will agree that Guyana has more oil reserves per capita than any other country on earth including: U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Norway.  Over the next 5 years Guyana will be one of 11 nations globally producing over 1 million barrels of oil a day. 

Last year, despite Covid, Guyana’s Real GDP growth rate was an astounding 43.4% per the IMF. Pre-Covid it was supposed to be 85.6%.  As one of only 3 Countries globally with a Real GDP growth rate over 5% in 2020 as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Guyana’s future couldn’t look brighter.

As the Sc3 team continues to develop and expand its practice in Guyana, we are constantly amazed by the enthusiasm and support that this small nation is receiving as it transitions from a small Caricom based country on the top of South America to a true Global leader, not just in the hemisphere, but throughout the world as one of the most important growth opportunities of the next decade continues to evolve.

Asset Managers, Institutional Investors, Pension Funds, Family Offices, and the Global 2000 are constantly asking us how they can participate in the future of Guyana. As one of Guyana’s leading boots on the ground frontier market asset managers, the Smart City Clearing Company team believes that with Guyana’s recent discovery, the country has a blank slate to move forward with and opportunities are everywhere for those willing to face the risk factors associated with the rapid growth of Frontier markets.

Peter Ramsaroop has taken the reigns of Go-Invest, the Country’s foreign direct investment office and their website has  a wealth of information to help companies and investors get a better understanding of what possibilities exist for organizations looking to help develop and build the Guyana of tomorrow.

Investment opportunities exist in all sectors, but especially:

  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Forestry
  • Infrastructure
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Oil and Gas
  • Services
  • Technology

One thing that Dr. Ashni Singh, the Senior Minister with responsibility for Finance, believes is that Investors and the Country should work together to focus on fostering the development of the UN Sustainable Development Goals(SDG’s) as a  part of all investment discussions in Guyana. The SDG’s form part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which was adopted by all UN Member States and focuses on helping Countries become model global citizens and seek to address issues around: poverty; hunger; health; education; water and sanitation; affordable energy; decent work and economic growth; industry; innovation and infrastructure; reduced inequalities; sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; climate action; life below water; life on land; peace; justice and strong institutions and partnerships are all components of the UN SDG platform and the Goals of their 2030 plan.

As this once in a lifetime opportunity continues to unfold, one thing is certain, Guyana’s position as a Global Leader and Regional leader will only become more important over the coming decade and Smart City Clearing Company is privileged to play a small part in that story.

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