Month: July 2017

28 Jul
By: pro 0

FIU strengthened through assistance from the US

Remarks by Hon Winston Jordan

Minister of Finance

Ambassador Perry Holloway, Other invitees:

On behalf of the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, I am pleased to accept this generous financial assistance from the United States Government, to support the work of the Financial Intelligence Unit and further strengthen Guyana’s Anti money Laundering regime.

The scale of money laundering and terrorist financing has risen globally, resulting in increased prudential, macroeconomic and national security risks in countries where these illicit activities are prevalent. Here, in Guyana, the recently concluded money laundering/terrorist financing national risk assessment has identified a number of core sectors that pose severe money laundering and terrorist financing risks to the country. The National Risk- based Action Plan, which emanated from the findings of the National Risk Assessment, will guide policymakers in their attempts to implement combating measures, commensurate with the level of risk identified.

There is no doubt that the employment of advanced technology has aided in the detection of money laundering activities, thus allowing prosecutorial and countervailing measures to be implemented. However, money launderers are becoming more sophisticated, which places ever increasing demands on the authorities to deploy new and appropriate techniques to enhance the country’s ability to detect and prevent these illicit activities.

The Government is also aware of the need for improved data collection and management from an array of pertinent sources, and better and incisive data analysis to effectively monitor and identify “red flag” and suspicious transactions that warrant deeper investigation.

Accordingly, the Government’s acquisition of the globally recognized IBase Software, which was developed by IBM, will allow the Financial Intelligence Unit to more easily map and import data and information, from both structured and unstructured sources, into the centralized repository. Also, it would help to hasten the pace at which data and information are analyzed, connections are found, and actionable results are generated. At the same time, it would facilitate comprehensive searches for intelligence in records; run complex queries on data; and offer security-rich data access capabilities that will improve data security, integrity and access.

In recognition of the critical role the Financial Intelligence Unit will play in the fight against money laundering, and the value of this software to support its work, the United States Government has offered to cover the cost of the initial training and support services required from IBM, to the tune of US$150,000. This timely assistance is not only an indication of Guyana’s inability to meet such costs, but it also underscores the value of meaningful partnerships in our collective fight to rid our countries of contaminated activities and transactions. Already, Guyana is suffering the effects of de-risking by several US-based banks. We are, therefore, comforted by gestures such as this.

In closing, I wish to reiterate our Government’s gratitude to the United States Government and Ambassador Perry Holloway for their continued support and generosity to Guyana. We know that this tool will go a far way in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Financial Intelligence Unit and improve its level of readiness for the ongoing fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Thank you.

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26 Jul
By: ict 0

Budget 2018 Preparations underway; Minister of Finance addresses participants of sensitisation workshop

Address by Hon. Winston Jordan, Minister of Finance at the Opening of the Budget 2018 Preparation and Sensitisation Training Workshop, Georgetown Marriott Hotel, July 24, 2017

 

Heads of Budget Agencies; Other Senior Officials of the Government; Members of the Media; Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good morning!

I am pleased to be able to be with you at the opening of this very important Budget Training and Sensitisation Workshop. Coming from a budgeting background – having been in the business for over 30 years – I could not pass up the opportunity to address you, when I was invited to do so by the current Director of Budget, Ms. Sonya Roopnauth, whose sterling work and accomplishments in the field of budgeting and public financial management was duly recognised, this year, with the award of the Golden Arrow of Achievement, our country’s fourth highest national accolade. Sonya, may you continue to render yeoman service to the nation for many more years to come. (more…)

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18 Jul
By: ict 0

Minister Jordan signs OFID Agreement

Ministry of Finance

2017-07-15

Press Release

Minister of Finance signs Agreement with OFID; highlights role of the private sector as the creator of wealth

 

The local Private Sector is set to benefit from new avenues for finance and investments with the signing of the Agreement for Encouragement and Protection of Investment with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan on Thursday July 14, 2017 signed the Agreement in Vienna, Austria with OFID Director-General Suleiman J. Al-Herbish. It is the first such agreement with a multilateral partner and sets in train a framework for the start of private sector operations in Guyana.

OFID’s private sector facility supports the private sector in developing countries through loans to micro, small and medium–enterprises, as well as directly to specific projects. As a pre-condition to such private sector investments, OFID requires the signature of a framework agreement with the country concerned for the encouragement and protection of investment. The agreement accords OFID the same privileges as those normally granted to international development institutions.

The signing of this agreement comes at a time when a number of other initiatives are being implemented by Government to help drive private sector growth including the design of a fiscal regime and a fiscal sustainability framework to address the management of natural resources wealth, development of a local content policy and the development of a time-lined work-plan on what the private sector needs to do to prepare for oil and thereafter.

Additionally, building on the wide ranging concessions granted by the previous government, the APNU+AFC Coalition has introduced several legislative and operational changes in support of the manufacturing industry which include the importation of raw materials free of excise tax, waivers on duty and taxes for items that are not listed on the approved list of raw materials once applications are made to the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), initiatives by the GRA to reduce processing time, the introduction of the ‘Trusted Trader Status’ to compliant importers, including manufacturers, the implementation of 1-year tax exemption letters to manufacturers, and the reduction of the corporate tax rate paid by the manufacturing sector from 30% to 27.5%.

More recently, the Government announced the first Round Table Meeting with the GMSA scheduled for July 28th. This Round Table meeting aims for a more structured dialogue and effective engagement with key players in the sector.

OFID is the intergovernmental development finance institution established in 1976 by the Member States of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and is bounded in ‘the natural solidarity which unites OPEC countries with other developing countries in their struggle to overcome underdevelopment.’

OFID has 13 member countries: Algeria, Ecuador, Gabon, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Libya, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

Resources for the Fund come from voluntary contributions made by members and its various operations.

Between 1976 to present, OFID has committed more than US$55 million to Guyana through its public sector operations. Much of this amount was provided as debt relief—some within the framework of the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative—while more than US$29 million was earmarked for Guyana’s energy, agriculture and financial sectors.

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