Guyana implemented a suite of measures to contain rising prices amid external shocks

-one of the Caribbean countries which contained inflation to single digits-lower than many countries in the world

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, January 7, 2023: As the global economy confronts high levels of inflation, the economies of the Caribbean, including Guyana, have recorded low inflation rates due to direct action to keep prices from rising. In its December 2022 quarterly issue of its ‘Caribbean Economics’ publication, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has listed some of the measures taken by Guyana and other Caribbean Governments to stem inflation and assist their economies to grow despite external shocks and higher commodity prices on the world market. Some of the challenges these countries faced and alluded to in the report were the War in Ukraine, higher oil prices which resulted in higher fuel prices and of course, the Covid-19 recovery period. “Just as Caribbean economies are emerging from the sharp recessions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, a confluence of external shocks now complicates the recovery…the current global context of high commodity prices affects countries differently, depending on whether they are mainly commodity importers or exporters”, the IDB stated.

As the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) continues to confront the challenges posed by global events, including supply chain disruption, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, a suite of measures were implemented to ease the cost of living and contain the rising prices.

The report noted that in addition to the Guyana Government’s interventions to absorb the increased costs on commodities such as fuel (as a result of higher prices on the world market) by reducing Excise Tax on fuel from 20 to 10 percent in January, 2022 and then to zero in March of the same year as well as absorbing the additional operating costs on electricity and water tariffs, the IDB noted that the Government also intervened by allocating US$4.8 million for the purchase and distribution of fertilizer to farmers to reduce operating costs, distributing US$ 3.8 million in the form of one-time cash grants for households in the rural interior and riverain communities (US$120 per household) and through its public assistance payments to vulnerable populations by increasing these payments from US$57 to US$67 per person per month, benefitting approximately 18,000 people. ‘The payments were later expanded to provide lifelong support for people with permanent disabilities’, the report added. It also referenced the Old Age Pension which ‘benefitted approximately 65,000 senior citizens and which saw a series of increases that brought it from a monthly payment of US$98 in 2020 to US$134 in 2022’.

The IDB report went on to note that ‘price shocks have also inspired regional leaders to promote longer-term regional solutions to the dependence on imports from outside the region and also alluded to CARICOM’s 25 by 2025 Initiative (led by Guyana’s President under his portfolio responsibility in CARICOM) which has the aim to reduce food import dependence by 25 percent by 2025 adding that this promising objective could be achieved through a combination of increased domestic production and enhanced regional trade. It then used an example of such as the notable regional collaboration of ‘the Saint Barnabas accord signed by the governments of Barbados and Guyana in July 2022.

The Government of Guyana continues to proactively monitor, review and put into action, measures to ease the burden on its most vulnerable citizens.

Government signs loan agreement with Bank of China for advancement of construction of historic New Demerara River Bridge

-Finance Minister announces

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, December 30, 2022: In tandem with Government’s aggressive and transformative transport infrastructure plans for the country, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance Dr. Ashni Singh today announced that Government had today completed the electronic signing of the loan agreement with the Bank of China for 160.8 Million Euros for the advancement of the construction of the New Demerara River Bridge. It can be recalled that in May this year, Government signed the US$260M contract for the major new Bridge as part of its plans to expand and modernize Guyana’s transport infrastructure, and significantly reduce the traffic woes on the East Bank of Demerara. The project, which has been long in the making by the PPP/C Administration, was awarded to the Joint Venture of China Railway Construction Corporation (International) Limited, China Railway Construction (Caribbean) Co., Ltd & China Railway Construction Bridge Engineering Bureau Group Co., Ltd.

The hybrid designed bridge will feature a modern four-lane structure (two carriageways), cycle lane, with a 2.65 kilometers length, driving surface of about 23.6 meters or 77.8 feet and will have a lifespan of some 100 years. The Demerara Harbour Bridge is also a vital linkage for the transport of agricultural goods from Regions 2 and 3 into Regions 4 and beyond. Therefore, easier and more efficient transport links will support agricultural development and food security for Guyanese.

The current Demerara Harbour Bridge is over 40 years old and connects the East Bank at Peters Hall with the West Bank at MeerZorgen, an estimate of 40,000 to 45,000 people and over 20,000 vehicles each day (11,000 per direction).

The new Demerara Harbour Bridge is a critical component of the Government’s drive to expand and modernize Guyana’s transport infrastructure and will address the challenges faced by users of the current bridge by providing safe, efficient, and effective crossing. It will offer easy connectivity to both the existing East Bank Demerara road as well as the new Diamond to Eccles bypass, the existing West Bank Demerara road, and the new Parika to Schoonord road. The new bridge will transform the face of transportation between Regions 3 and 4 and further regions. The new high span, four lane bridge will facilitate the smooth flow of traffic without congestion and delays.

The bridge is also a key strategic investment as economic activity on both sides of the Demerara expands rapidly, with developments on the horizon, such as new and expanded shore bases, a massive gas-to-power project and other industrial activities, alongside growth in more traditional sectors such as housing, construction, and services such as tourism. The bridge will play a significant role in accommodating and propelling economic growth.

Guyana’s overall real GDP grew by 36.4% in the first half of the year, with non-oil growth of 8.3% – according to the Mid-Year Report 2022   

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, September 3, 2022: According to the Ministry of Finance’s recently released Mid-Year Report 2022, Guyana recorded an overall real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 36.4 percent in the first half of the year, with the non-oil economy growing by 8.3 percent, reflecting Government’s supportive policy stance. The outlook for the second half continues to be favourable. For the full year, real GDP growth in 2022 is now projected at 56 percent overall, and non-oil GDP growth at 9.6 percent, maintaining Guyana’s position of global leader in economic growth.    

“Led by President Ali and fueled by the rapid economic growth, we have embarked on a period of rapid transformation, and our Government has laid out a masterplan for the rapid development and transformation of Guyana. More importantly, we have demonstrated the capacity and commitment to working assiduously to make this vision a reality so that benefits can redound to citizens in the shortest possible time,” Dr. Singh had indicated.

Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh had noted that upon the assumption to office by the President Irfaan Ali-led Government, the administration recognised the importance of a strong, diversified economic base and, as such, even in the early days of oil production, placed the highest level of importance on a resilient non-oil economy. The aim, therefore, was to modernise the economy’s traditional pillars and catalyze ‘a rapidly growing and highly competitive non-oil economy. This is evident in the nation’s non-oil economic growth at the end of the first half. The continued growth projected for 2022 builds on the 4.6 percent growth recorded last year.

The key macroeconomic highlights are as follows:


Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 

The agriculture, forestry and fishing sector is estimated to have expanded by 10.9 percent in the first six months of 2022, driven by higher output from the other crops, forestry and livestock, notwithstanding weaker performances in the sugar, rice and fishing industries. The sector is now expected to grow by 11.9 percent.

Extractive Industries

The mining and quarrying sector is estimated to have grown by 64.6 percent in the first half of the year, with a revised 2022 forecast of 99.9 percent driven by growth in the petroleum and other mining industries.

The petroleum sector expanded by an estimated 73.5 percent, with 34.6 million barrels of oil produced in the first half of the year. This was the result of the commencement of oil production at the Liza Unity FPSO in February. Also on the upside, the bauxite industry is estimated to have grown by 31.9 percent, and the other mining and quarrying (sand, stone, diamonds, manganese) industries by 36.3 percent, in the first half of 2022.

Manufacturing, Services and Construction

The service industries are estimated to have expanded by 7.6 percent, driven largely by increases in wholesale and retail trade, and transport and storage. The overall 2022 growth rate for the services sector is now forecasted to be 6.3 percent. While the manufacturing sector is estimated to have contracted by 11.4 percent in the first half of the year, it is now projected to grow by 7.5 percent for 2022.

The construction sector is estimated to have grown by a strong 20.4 percent in the first half of 2022, reflecting intensified activity in both the public and private sector.


The overall balance of payments recorded a US$100 million deficit at the end of the first half of 2022, reflecting primarily higher cost of fuel and capital imports.

With respect to trade, export receipts expanded by US$2,330.2 million, outweighing the US$506.6 million increase in imports. Notably, these receipts grew largely as a result of higher export earnings from oil, while, at the same time, non-oil export earnings increased marginally by 2 percent.


Consistent with the expansion in the non-oil productive sector, credit to the private sector rose by 7.5 percent to $308.3 billion.

This primarily reflects expanding credit to the services sector, manufacturing sector, for real estate mortgage loans, and to households. These increased by 8.2 percent, 26.7 percent, 3.2 percent, and 5.1 percent, to $110.3 billion, $34.2 billion, $98.6 billion, and $38.5 billion, respectively.


The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated supply disruptions to commodity markets, resulting in surging commodity prices, the effects of which are being felt globally. Guyana has not been spared. Consumer prices were 4.9 percent higher than levels recorded at the end of 2021 and this was due largely to higher food and energy prices.

Recognising the consequences of these inflationary pressures, Government implemented a suite of measures to ease the burden on the population. The excise tax on petroleum was reduced from 20 percent to 10 percent at the time of Budget 2022 presentation, and reduced even further from 10 percent to zero in March. Additionally, Government also utilised $1 billion for the purchase and distribution of fertilizer to farmers across the country, $800 million to provide cash grants to households in hinterland and riverain communities, among a number of other interventions.

Given the existing geopolitical tensions globally, inflation is now projected to be 5.8 percent for 2022.


During the first six months of the year, Government had five lifts of profit oil from the two producing FPSOs. Further, Government received US$307 million in revenue from their share of profit oil, along with royalties to the tune of US$37.1 million, in the first half. The cumulative balance on the NRF, inclusive of interest income, was US$753.3 million, after withdrawing US$200 million in May.

Government anticipates 13 lifts of profit oil for 2022, and subject to the evolution of world market oil prices, now projects US$1.1 billion from the sale of the country’s share of profit oil, and US$147.7 million in royalties.

In just over 24 months of this Government’s current term in office, implemented policies and programmes have already laid a solid foundation for realising the commitments made in the 2020 Manifesto, on the basis of which this Government was elected to office. Government remains steadfast in its efforts to continue to grow the economy and improve the wellbeing of all Guyanese, thereby building a modern and prosperous One Guyana.

To view the entire Mid-Year Report 2022, click here: https://finance.gov.gy/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Mid-Year-Report-2022-FINAL-compressed.pdf

Over $44 billion in Supplementary Funding sought in support of major developmental initiatives countrywide

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, July 21, 2022: Supplementary funding to cater for a range of developmental initiatives countrywide including to provide additional resources for Amerindian and Hinterland Communities, Infrastructural Development in new and existing housing schemes and improvement and expansion of Coastal and Hinterland water supply among many other areas, were today sought when Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh presented a Supplementary Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly during the 48 th Sitting of the 12th Parliament.

The Supplementary Bill comprised Financial Paper Number 1 of 2022 totalling $44.8 billion which will see $21 Billion being spent in the Housing and Water sector for infrastructural development in new and existing housing schemes and improvement and expansion of coastal and hinterland water supply; $5.5 Billion for the Agriculture Sector for various provisions including additional resources for the Black Belly Sheep project and the provision of additional resources for drainage and irrigation interventions and support to the Sugar Industry; $307 Million for the education sector for the provision of additional resources to facilitate the purchase of school furniture consequent to the reopening of schools in the new COVID environment, the provision of additional resources to facilitate the construction of a primary school in Wakenaam.

Meanwhile, under the Ministry of Public works, $4.4 Billion was identified for various programmes under this sector including for the provision of additional resources to facilitate the upgrading of roads and drains in various communities, additional resources to facilitate the advancement of preliminary works to support the road linkage project, and resources to complete critical sea and river defence works.

Under the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, over $3 Billion is catered for to provide for additional resources to support Amerindian and Hinterland Communities, while for the Ministry of Public Service, $250 million is provided for to allow for additional resources for the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) scholarships and $700 million provided for public assistance to citizens living with permanent disabilities under the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security. The initiatives being provided for cover a range of sectors, as Government continues to make efforts to transform and improve the lives of Guyana’s citizens.

Government’s historic Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 presented to the National Assembly by Finance Minister

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, July 21, 2022: Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh today presented Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030 to the National Assembly. It is expected that the National Assembly will debate the motion on the LCDS 2030 at its next sitting.

Today’s presentation of the LCDS 2030, follows a more than seven-month national consultation, based on a draft strategy which was launched by His Excellency President Irfaan Ali in an Address to the Nation on October 28, 2021. This revised version of the LCDS 2030, incorporates feedback and comments received during the national consultation process.

Since the launch, thousands of people across Guyana participated in information sharing and consultation activities. In his foreword to the LCDS 2030, President Ali thanked all those who participated and contributed ideas and opinions. The President said: “The strategy that has resulted is not a static document – but rather a vision that will live for years to come. It sets a direction of travel that I believe will catalyse innovation and new ideas as its various elements move to implementation. I hope that as this implementation pathway evolves, our national conversation and consultation about its important measures will continue. I want everyone in the country to have the chance to forge opinions about sustainable development.”

The LCDS 2030 builds from an original vision set out in 2009, when the then-President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, called for new global models for low-deforestation development pathways – stating: “Tropical Forest countries have long called for the ecosystem services provided by the world’s standing forests to be properly valued, through both public and private finance. This will enable people who live in forests and forest countries to create jobs and economic opportunity from an economy that works with nature, instead of today’s reality where forests are worth more dead than alive.”

This vision was given life through the LCDS 2009, which underwent one of the biggest national consultations in Guyana’s history at that time – and outlined a three-phase process whereby Guyana could earn money from forest climate services and invest these in LCDS priorities.

For Phase I, Guyana sought a bilateral partner who shared the country’s vision and who was willing to partner to create a model for the world. This culminated in the 2009 Guyana-Norway Agreement which, at the time, was the second largest forest agreement of its kind in the world. Norway paid Guyana over US$220 million for forest climate services for the period 2009 to 2015.  These revenues were, and are still being, invested in clean energy, low carbon jobs, Amerindian land titling, the Amerindian Development Fund project, rehabilitation of the Cunha Canal and other climate resilience work, support for small and medium enterprise development in collaboration with the local banking sector, and many other investments which were set out in the LCDS 2009 and a 2013 update. Crucially, throughout this period, the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) invested heavily in building one of the worlds’ most advanced forest carbon Monitoring, Reporting and Verification Systems (MRVS).

No payments were received for performance after 2015.

However, on resuming office, the PPP/C Government quickly set out to re-establish and expand the means to implement the vision of the original LCDS.

Guyana is now once again able to advance– and to move to Phase II of the plan that was set out in 2009. In Phase II, Guyana can start to replace or augment payments from Norway, and instead receive revenues for forest climate services from global voluntary carbon markets.

At the same time, the LCDS 2030 sets out how the country can start to prepare for potential revenue streams from other ecosystem services – including those based on Guyana’s world-class biodiversity and water resources.

The LCDS 2030 will be funded from more than just the new revenues from forest carbon markets – regular national finances will also be deployed. However, there are particular new opportunities to use the new revenue streams from carbon markets to the benefit of those who live in, and depend on, the forest – as well as other local communities.

The national consultation on the LCDS 2030 sought ideas on how these new revenues could be invested. As a result, the strategy sets out two pathways:

• National programmes as outlined in the draft LCDS 2030, including investments in renewable energy, land titling, protection against climate change and other areas;
• Community/Village-led programmes for indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) as set out in Village Sustainability Plans (VSPs) or equivalent, put together by communities themselves in accordance with the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as set out in the LCDS 2030 Chapter Two.

A dedicated 15% of all revenues from forest carbon markets will be available to Amerindian communities who choose to opt in and produce their own Village Sustainability Plans.

This proposal was welcomed by the National Toshaos Council in a resolution on Friday, July 15, 2022 with the NTC resolution recognizing “the extensive national-scale and community-based consultations, conducted over the past seven months, [which] have informed the main aspects of LCDS 2030” while welcoming “the commitment expressed in the LCDS 2030 to continued consultation and engagement with Indigenous Communities and Villages as the LCDS moves to implementation.”

Subsequently – on Monday, July 18, 2022 – the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee (MSSC) of the LCDS approved the finalisation of the Strategy based on the wide-ranging stakeholder feedback since October 2021. The MSSC oversees the consultative process and implementation of the LCDS 2030.

It comprises representatives of Government Ministries and agencies, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, youth, mining and forestry producers, the National Toshaos Council, indigenous communities, and civil society.

The MSSC will continue to meet regularly after the LCDS has been tabled in the National Assembly to take forward elements of the LCDS, which will require further consultation and idea generation.

With the approval of the MSSC, the LCDS 2030 was today tabled in the National Assembly. In the foreword, President Ali said: “I hope that individuals, businesses, and organisations – in Guyana and across the world – will stay engaged. I also hope that all politicians in the National Assembly will recognise that the long-term ambitions contained in this LCDS 2030 are ambitions for Guyana, so deserve support and continued engagement. Because if we work together, we can advance development for all our people. We can also demonstrate to the world – but perhaps more importantly to ourselves – that our “one Guyana” is more than up to the task of achieving big things and creating a better future for all.”


Finance Minister tables agreements for world class Regional hospitals, health care countrywide

Georgetown, Ministry of Finance, July 21, 2022: As Government moves to modernize the healthcare system throughout the country, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, today tabled two agreements in the National Assembly to cater for the construction of modern health care facilities in five of Guyana’s ten Regions during the 48 th Sitting of the 12 th Parliament.

The first Export Finance Agreement (No. CIE/BC-DL/Guyana/0020014380) dated June 14, 2022 between the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the United Kingdom Export Finance totaling Euros 161,016,949 which allows for the financing, design and construction of a state-of-the-art Paediatric and Maternal Hospital at Ogle as well as the delivery of medical equipment to the institution.

The second one is a Deferred Payment Agreement (Lot One (1) to Lot Six (6) dated July 12, 2022 between the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the China CAMC Engineering Company Limited for a total amount of Euros 136,132,800 for the financing of Government’s Regional Hospitals Project.

Under the Regional Hospitals Project, six Hospitals will be constructed in five regions: one in Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam); one at De Kinderen, Region Three (Essequibo Islands/West
Demerara); one at Diamond and another at Enmore, in Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica); one in Bath, Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice) and one in Number 75 Village, Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne). Each modern hospital is slated to be equipped with 75 beds.

Meanwhile, the Paediatric and Maternal Hospital at Ogle will be equipped with 256 beds.

In his 2022 Budget Speech to the National Assembly, the Finance Minister stated that: “Ensuring a modern, world class healthcare system is a paramount objective for our Government. To this end, we will leverage existing and soon-to-be-built public healthcare facilities, private investment, as well as public-private partnerships in the sector, with the aim of not only meeting the needs of our citizens and residents, but also to be able to offer medical treatment as an export service through medical tourism”.

The Minister also referred to the construction of the paediatric and maternal hospital as well as the six new regional hospitals, while noting that the six hospitals which will be constructed will catapult healthcare delivery (beyond current levels provided by existing regional facilities) and will ‘reduce the undue cost and burden of referrals to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC)’.

On July 8, 2022, in keeping with Government’s commitment to modernize the healthcare system in the country, President Irfaan Ali announced that a national healthcare initiative would commence in collaboration with the Mount Sinai Health System, an internationally recognized healthcare provider and Hess Corporation to improve access to and the quality of healthcare for Guyanese. The initiative allows the Mount Sinai/Hess Corporation partnership to work with the Government of Guyana to assist and advise Government how to develop and implement a high- quality primary health care system including specialized services in cardiology and oncology, to bring about significant improvement at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).