Category: Press Releases

25 Jun
By: Tanika Jones 0

World Bank approves US$35m for oil sector preparations

The World Bank Group today announced approval of a US$35 million Development Policy Credit to support Guyana’s efforts to bolster financial sector development and fiscal management to better prepare the country to tap its newly discovered oil and gas reserves and transform its oil wealth into human capital.

The assistance of the World Bank in this area had been previously announced by the government here. The terms of the credit arrangement were not disclosed in today’s press release from the World Bank Group.

The released quoted Guyana’s Finance Minister Winston Jordan as saying “This financing provides critical support to our reform agenda and efforts to strengthen institutions and build a resilient economy that is capable of withstanding both external and domestic shocks. These reforms will be key to guide the management of oil revenues for the benefit of present and future generations”.

The release said that while currently nearly one in four people in Guyana live in poverty, experts project that the GDP will surge when commercial production of newly-discovered oil and gas begins.

“ Guyana is making important strides to promote financial resilience and improve fiscal management, and has embarked on a broad-based reform programme,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank’s Country Director for the Caribbean.

“These reforms will be key to build a strong economy that is underpinned by a strategic management of public resources for the benefit of the Guyanese people.”

The release said that the financing focuses on strengthening financial stability and enabling sound financial development to nurture macroeconomic stability and long-term growth. “In particular, it will support banking reforms and depositor protection, the establishment of a deposit insurance scheme, implementation of a new insurance law, and the country’s anti-money laundering efforts”, the release said.

It added that the Development Policy Credit is the first of two programmatic financial and fiscal development policy credits and is financed from the International Development Association.

 

Source: https://www.stabroeknews.com/2018/news/guyana/06/25/world-bank-approves-us35m-for-oil-sector-preparations/

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30 May
By: Tanika Jones 0

Minister of Finance signs Technical Assistance Grant with CDB; University of Guyana to construct modern library

Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan, on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 signed a Technical Assistance Grant for the infrastructural enhancement of the University of Guyana’s library. The CDB had previously assisted the institution with a Technical Assistance to examine its governance and other structures.

Other signatories to the agreement were President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Dr. Warren Smith, and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana (UG), Dr. Ivelaw Griffith.

The US$149,985.00 grant was approved by the Board of Directors of the CDB at its Annual meeting held in March this year. It will fund a comprehensive assessment of, and prepare final designs and cost estimates for the construction of a modern, gender-responsive, socially-inclusive and environmentally resilient facility. This grant will also help to   address the adequacy and suitability of the current infrastructure. The new library will be situated on a plot of land west of the current library. The Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and UG will contribute approximately US$26,000 towards the full realization of the project.

Over the years, UG has had difficulty accessing funds to maintain the present library, its other buildings or to construct newer buildings to cope with its ballooning student population. Despite this though, UG has made incremental changes to the library including the removal and disposal of asbestos from certain areas of the library in 2009; the construction of a fire escape in 2010; the renovation of the roof of the new wing of the library and grilling of windows in and general reading room in 2012; the rewiring of the library in 2015 and the physical upgrade of the learning resource centre in 2017. However, the library still suffers from infrastructural challenges and weaknesses in staff capacity.

The infrastructural enhancement project which will begin immediately will be implemented by UG through the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Planning and International Engagement. A Project Steering Committee (PSC) will have responsibility for the coordination and overall guidance of the project.

The partnership between Guyana and the CDB most recently resulted in an agreement by the Bank to blend its resources with that of the United Kingdom/Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF) to fund the waterfront renewal in Georgetown; upgrade the first phase of the much anticipated Linden to Lethem Highway; and construct a bridge across the Essequibo River, at Kurupukari.

It has also committed an estimated US$6.145 M to the 9th Cycle of the Basic Needs Trust Fund, which will be expended on projects and activities that contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic growth, reduce poverty in poor and rural communities, improve access to critically-needed services; and enhance the quality of life in the remote and interior areas of Guyana.

The CDB is currently hosting its 48th Board of Governor’s meeting in Grenada. In attendance are Minister Jordan, Dr. Griffith and other senior functionaries of the Ministry of Finance.

To view all the photos from this signing visit our Flickr Gallery or go directly to the album here.

 

 

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30 May
By: Tanika Jones 0

New Russian Ambassador calls on Finance Minister

His Excellency Alexander Kurmaz, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Guyana makes courtesy call on Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan

The Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Guyana, His Excellency Alexander Kurmaz called on the Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan earlier this week.

The Ambassador who is new to Guyana assured the Finance Minister of his government’s continued collaboration and support for the development of Guyana. He emphasized that his government is not only interested in strengthened trade relations with Guyana, but,  is willing and ready to provide assistance in key areas such as, aviation, health care, information technology and border security, among others

Ambassador Kurmaz  also noted the similarities between the two countries, particularly in respect to the size of Guyana and the abundance of water and discussed innovative ways through which his country can assist Guyana in the management of its water, using advanced technology.

Minister Jordan in response assured Ambassador Kurmaz of his confidence in the benefits that will accrue to Guyana through the measures discussed and thanked the Ambassador and the government of the Russian Federation for its offer of  assistance to Guyana.

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08 May
By: Tanika Jones 0

Minister of Finance signs 2 year concession renewal with GGDMA and GWMO, ties concessions to output

Georgetown – President of the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO), Urica Primus and President of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA), Terrence Adams, today signed a 2 year concession renewal agreement with the Government of Guyana. This agreement boasted many firsts for the relationship between the two private sector bodies:

  1. It was the first time that the GWMO signed the agreement as an individual entity;
  2. For the first time, the agreement has been renewed for a two year period rather than annually, and
  3. The concessions granted are tied to various levels of declarations.

 

Other signatories to the agreement were Hon. Winston Jordan, Minister of Finance; Godfrey Statia, Commissioner General, Revenue Authority (GRA); Newell Dennison, Commissioner General, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission; and Dr. Mahender Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, Guyana Energy Agency. Also present at the signing ceremony was Hon. Raphael Trotman, Minister of Natural Resources.  

Minister Jordan in brief remarks pointed out that, “The agreement is the third that has been signed by Government but that it was more comprehensive and was accomplished through evidence-based negotiations.” He also said that it comes on the heels of other budgetary measures that were put in place as a mark of the Government’s unwavering support for the sector and appreciation for the invaluable contribution that miners make to the country’s economy. He appealed to the miners to always be cognisant of Government’s support and urged that they in turn ensure that declarations are made in the same spirit.

The Mining sector has benefited from significant interventions, since 2015, by way of tax concessions on machinery, equipment, fuel and vehicles for small and medium scale miners; a reduction in the Tributor’s Tax from 20% to 10% and a sliding scale percentage based on the price of gold, which replaced the 2% of gross proceeds. Additionally, more than $1 billion was allocated in the 2018 Budget for the upgrade of key roadways in the Hinterland, so as to provide easier travel and transportation access for miners and loggers, in particular, within hinterland communities.

The Ministry of Finance, in further efforts to provide support for the sector, has facilitated several consultations and collaborations between Government and stakeholders. These have resulted in a more timely resolution to challenges within the sector.

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12 Mar
By: Tanika Jones 0

International mining companies to invest millions more in Guyana

Several Canadian mining companies operating in Guyana have pledged to invest tens of millions of US dollars in expansion projects here. This announcement was made at the just concluded Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention (PDAC) held in Toronto from 4-7 March, 2018.

The annual PDAC Convention is regarded as the premier international event for Canada’s mineral exploration and development industry.

Scott Caldwell, Chief Executive Officer of Guyana Goldfields Inc., the largest foreign gold mining company in Guyana, announced that the company plans to boost annual gold production to 300,000 ounces by 2022 with the introduction of underground mining. He highlighted his company’s corporate social responsibility record which includes on-going training and development of the Guyanese workforce.
Caldwell pointed out that the Government of Guyana receives eight per cent royalty of all the gold mined and added that the company’s on-going expansion augurs well for Guyana, its shareholders and stakeholders.

Guyana Goldfields Inc. has spent approximately US$50M in the local economy over the years in the areas goods and in services such as hauling of freight, engineering, and contract mining.

Rich Munson, Chief Executive Officer of Sandsprings/ETK, which has acquired the Toroparu Gold Project,said that this undertaking is the number two ranked undeveloped project in South America. The Toroparu Gold Project is described as a world class asset with a 10 million-ounce potential gold reserve.

He explained that Noting Sandsprings/ETK will in the future face a demand for about 35 megawatts of electricity when the operation is up and running and is therefore developing a hydro-electric station known as the Kurupung River Hydroelectric Project (KRHP). This station will use run-of-river technology which requires no damming. He added that his company is mindful of Guyana’s interest in hydro-electricity, and has designed the KRHP to be expanded incrementally from 50 megawatts to 100 megawatts with the aim of supplying external clients. Yannis Tsitos, President and Director of Goldsource/Kilroy Mining, indicated that his company has spent more than US$22M in exploration and development in Guyana which he described as, “an extremely good jurisdiction.” The company intends to eventually produce around one million ounces of gold, averaging between 55,000 and 75,000 ounces a year.

The Goldsource/Kilroy Mining executive who has a background in bauxite mining also spoke to investors and other mining operatives about Guyana’s high-quality bauxite which he explained yields about 62 per cent alumina when processed. “I would hope that one day Guyana can come out of the loop of being an exporter of raw bauxite by self-producing, and eventually building an alumina or even an aluminum plant,” he urged.

Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan was the featured speaker at the prestigious event. During his address, he outlined the Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana’s Vision and projections for the extractive sector. He also called attention to ‘the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted by the UN General Assembly, that acknowledged inter alia, the need for environmentally sustainable economic development and stressed that the mining industry has a pivotal role to play in the attainment of these goals, by ensuring that its operations leave a positive footprint on the environment, even as it generates profits, creates employment and promotes economic growth.’

Minister Jordan assured the more than twenty five thousand investors, analysts, mining executives, prospectors, geologists, indigenous peoples, government officials, and students from over 125 countries participating in the Convention that ‘Guyana’s economy has achieved relatively stable economic growth consistent with the global trends’ and its ‘fiscal position has remained strong, with growing current account surpluses,’ and an ‘overall deficit (that) has been kept within sustainable levels.

He said that the ‘financial system is robust, with banks and other non- bank financial institutions being sound and adequately capitalized, Public debt levels are prudently managed while annual inflation hovers around 2 percent.’ He further said that with foreign reserves that are over 3.5 months of import cover, and no exchange controls, Guyana’s environment makes for hassle-free repatriation of profits and dividends.’
Minister Jordan lauded Guyana’s mining sector as a significant pillar of the country’s economy and the main contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the past three years as well as a major source of Foreign Direct Investment.

He noted though, that while mining in Guyana is successful, it is ‘unable to unleash its full potential’ because it is challenged by the ‘unavailability of requisite capital to local investors.’To address this challenge, he said, ‘Government is encouraging local miners to establish linkages with foreign investors and members of the Diaspora to access the necessary financing and technology while at the same time providing fiscal incentives in the form of concessions on machinery, equipment and fuel, and waiver and remission of taxes on motor vehicles, based on the value of gold declaration.

He added that mining operators are permitted to hold foreign exchange retention accounts while larger operators are subjected to an Investment Development Agreement that allows for duty and tax concessions for specified periods in the life of the investment.

Minister Jordan also underscored that the‘Guyana Office for Investment is ready and ably equipped to facilitate investors and to help them navigate any bureaucracy and assured that investors are guaranteed the safety of their investment and the ease of doing business. He pointed out that Government is cognizant that a strong legal and regulatory framework is a prerequisite for the orderly and safe development of the sectorand that it has undertaken revisions to the Mining Act and Regulations which are expected to be completed and laid in the National Assembly by the end of 2018.

The Finance Minister in his address announced too, that with the recent discovery of in excess of 3.7 billion barrels of recoverable oilin the country’s offshore basin, production of first oil is expected in the first quarter of 2020, with 120,000 barrels per day being targeted which could eventually reach 500,000 barrels per day by 2025, and up to 1,000,000 barrels per day by the late 2020s. He highlighted that the revenues that Guyana will earn from this discovery will have a transformative effect on the country. He further added that the Government is keen to avoid the ‘oil curse’ and thus is ‘presently fashioning a constructive and enlightened Sovereign Wealth Fund, to provide for inter-generational equity. The Fund’s legislation is expected to reach Parliament in the last quarter of 2018.’

Member of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons who is also the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, pointed to Canada’s renowned capabilities in off-shore oil and gas, and acknowledged that Guyana is a key market for Canada.

“In 2016, Guyana became Canada’s largest merchandised trading market within CARICOM because of a significant increase in gold imports to Canada…our government is committed to further strengthening our relationship with our friends and partners in Guyana,” Goldsmith Jones said.

Noting Guyana and Canada’s longstanding trade relationship, the Member of Parliament emphasised, “there’s no question that Guyana holds a promise for Canadian companies in the extractive sector, especially in mining and oil and gas, which we recognize as important to Guyana’s economy.”

Guyana’s High Commissioner to Canada, Clarissa Riehl and Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Lilian Chatterjee also made brief remarks.

Minister Jordan and the GO-Invest team met with the Premier and Deputy Minister of Natural Resources for Newfoundland and Labrador to discuss opportunities in mining, Oil and Gas and the Natural Resources sector in General.

Chief Executive Officer of Go-Invest Owen Verwey, following the event, said he was heartened by the tremendous interest shown in Guyana Mining Day 2018 in Toronto, noting that “Guyana is indeed being recognized as a world-class investment option for mining and natural resources.”

The event was chaired by newly appointed Guyana Consul General to Toronto, Ann Choo.Also presenting at the forum were Metallica Commodities Corporation, Goldstrike/Romanex, Guyana Women’s Mining Organization and Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.

Guyana Office for Investment
2018-03-10

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12 Mar
By: Tanika Jones 0

Guyana’s mineral resources still under-explored- Min Jordan tells PDAC 2018 Convention

Guyana’s mineral resources still under-explored- Min Jordan tells PDAC 2018 Convention
Mar 07, 2018 Government, Ministry of Finance, News

DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Minister of Finance Winston Jordan has extended an invitation to Guyanese in the diaspora to “come home” and tap into the under-explored mineral resources existing here.

Minister of Finance Winston Jordan- (photo courtesy of MOF).

The Minister was addressing overseas-based Guyanese and other attendees of the 2018 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada(PDAC) convention on Tuesday in Toronto Canada.

The annual PDAC Convention which commenced on Sunday, March 4, is regarded as the premier international event for the mineral industry. It has attracted more than 25,000 people from 125 countries in recent years. It concluded today.

“To the Guyanese in the Diaspora, if you want to share in the buzz and excitement stemming from our recent oil discoveries; if you want to help us to diversify the economy, so as to ensure our non-dependence on petroleum revenues; then now is the time. The motherland needs you, your financing and your expertise, Come home to Guyana!” Minister Jordan said.

The Finance Minister said the mining sector is economically important to Guyana. As a share of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it has accounted for approximately fifteen (15) percent at the end of 2017, with gold being the main contributor. Mining, he said, is also the major source of Foreign Direct Investment into the country, accounting for approximately twenty- five percent of the total amount.

According to Minister Jordan, one of the main reasons why the sector is unable to unleash its full potential is the unavailability of the requisite capital to local investors. To address this challenge, he said the Government is encouraging local miners to establish linkages with foreign investors and members of the Diaspora to access the necessary financing and technology.

In an effort to make the sector more competitive, the Government has been providing fiscal incentives in the form of concessions on machinery, equipment and fuel, and waiver and remission of taxes on motor vehicles, based on the value of gold declaration.

Mining Operators are also permitted to hold foreign exchange retention accounts, while larger operators are subjected to an Investment Development Agreement that allows for duty and tax concessions for specified periods in the life of the investment.

“With our one-stop investment agency, Go-Invest, ably facilitating investors and helping them to cut the red tape and bureaucracy, investors can be guaranteed the safety of their investment and the ease of doing business,” Minister Jordan said.

By: Alexis Rodney

Source

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