Building on Guyana's Strengths

In an earlier blog, I highlighted a few of the many opportunities for both local and foreign entities committed to working together to build on Guyana’s strengths, and realize its potential to be a competitive player in the global oil and gas industry. Notable among these strengths is Guyana’s robust, liquid and stable financial services sector which is well-positioned to serve as a solid foundation for its emerging oil and gas sector.

However, not unlike many of the other businesses seeking to play a contributory role, Guyana’s financial institutions will have to embrace change, expand product and service offerings, and upgrade technological capacity if they are to satisfy the needs of this new sector. Investing in mobile and online banking, Fintech solutions, electronic payment technologies among others will serve to improve agility to better respond to changing market needs and ultimately enhance the efficiency of the financial system. These are investments that can be made today, not only for the benefit of the oil and gas industry, but to offer relevant financial services convenience to the entire Guyanese community.

All segments of Guyana’s emerging ecosystem, from the upstream companies to the SMEs, stand to benefit from access to financial and management services to help maximize the productivity of their assets, reduce risk and ensure that they remain compliant with the relevant regulations of the sector. Personal, Corporate & Commercial and Investment Banking services, both from a traditional and from an oil & gas perspective are also likely to be in high demand.

Critical to meeting this demand will be capability building by financial institutions, including engaging experienced, knowledgeable industry specialists. Guyana’s Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will likely require significant support and guidance if they are to play an active role in the future economy. SMEs will now have an opportunity to transfer or adapt their products and services to the oil and gas industry, which will require greater access to credit facilities, payroll and banking services to increase investment in training, skills building and other forms of development. Financial institutions, like Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited, will be responsible for creating an enabling environment for growth and development, and to supporting both the local and international businesses, that stand to play a key role in ensuring that the country achieves its fullest potential.

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