Regional commission ECLAC is reporting that foreign direct investments, FDI, in Guyana increased to US$212 million last year in part as a result of the oil and gas sector preparing for First Oil.
The flows nearly quadrupled relative to 2016 when foreign investments in the country were estimated at US$58 million.
Guyana has “bucked the trend” for flows to Latin America and the Caribbean as a region, which contracted 3.6 per cent last year, said the Economic Commission for Latin America.
“FDI grew in all sectors, except in manufacturing,” said ECLAC in a report on regional FDI flows. “The energy sector received US$90 million as part of a first wave of inward FDI related to ExxonMobil’s discovery of major oil reserves off Guyana’s coast. While it continues with its successful exploration efforts, ExxonMobil decided to launch the first development phase of the Liza field with an investment of US$4.4 billion,” the report added.
ExxonMobil expects to begin oil extraction in 2020.
The report also noted that Guyana hopes to take advantage of the international interest in the oil finds to promote other sectors, such as agriculture and mining.
“In the latter, Canadian mining company First Bauxite Corporation announced a bauxite production project valued at US$50 million, with construction of facilities set to begin in 2018,” ECLAC said.
Meanwhile, Guyana is putting together a list of priority projects it wishes to complete with resources provided under the China Belt and Road Initiative.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed with China, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said at a press briefing that Guyana will be able to tap into resources from the Belt and Road, which is intended to make available resources to recipient countries for projects related to transportation, and information and communications technology.
Guyana has now joined Panama, Bolivia, Trinidad & Tobago and Antigua & Barbuda as countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that have signed on to the initiative