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Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh says the country’s economy is expected to experience sustained growth of 25.1 per cent this year.
Singh also predicted the growth rate will continue to exceed 25 per cent in the medium term, over the next three to four years.
He made the disclosure during his presentation at the International Energy Conference and Expo being held at the Guyana Marriott Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown last Thursday.
“The achievement of real economic growth of 25 per cent over a sustained period is an achievement that is rare, in the historical economic context…Mind you, that projection of 25 per cent is based on current proven oil reserves and a production trajectory consistent with current proven reserves.”
Drawing attention to the macroeconomic landscape in which Guyana is functioning, Singh said the government’s top priority is to ensure that the country achieves strong, sustainable, and tangible economic growth.
Last year, Guyana was ranked as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with over 62 per cent real growth.
“To put things in context, over the last three years, the Guyanese economy has tripled in size. We broke our nominal GDP, and the size of the economy broke the $1 trillion mark in 2019 for the first time… in fact, we ended the year  with nominal GDP of GY$1.078 trillion. We ended 2022 with nominal GDP in excess of GY$3 trillion.”
While the country’s economic growth was driven by the oil and gas sector, the minister emphasised that the government is prioritising the attainment of robust non-oil economic growth.
Last year, the non-oil economy expanded by 11.5 per cent and Minister Singh is projecting real economic growth in the non-oil economy of 7.9 per cent this year.
“We are projecting real economic growth in the non-oil sectors solidly in excess of 5 per cent through the medium term as well,” Dr Singh stated.
With this in mind, the senior finance minister said investors looking to do business in Guyana will be coming to an economic jurisdiction that has established a robust track record of economic growth in recent years, and a strong outlook in the medium term.
Yet in spite of the phenomenal growth poverty is increasing according to an October 2022 World Bank Fact Sheet.
On the subject of fiscal solvency, Singh said Guyana has made progress in strengthening its public finances over the years.
The minister reminded that with Guyana’s oil and gas wealth the country is ahead of almost every economy in this hemisphere, and in a position where it has significant headroom to borrow.
In the meanwhile accounting firm Ram and McRae, writing about the 2023 Budget in Stabroek News, January 22, 2023 said whilst the Budget is the largest with the generous helping of funds from the Natural Resources Fund and some $31,275 Million from the sale of carbon credits, correspondingly, it was also the largest budget deficit ever.
The minister noted that Guyana has a strong portfolio with multilateral and regional development institutions and a robust pipeline of official borrowing. This enables the country to finance its fiscal programme without having to resort to expensive or uncompetitive borrowing options.
Former Minister of Finance, Mr. Winston Jordan, in a Kaieteur News story, last August 10, pointed out that “Government is spending the oil money like wildfire and rushing the development of the oil without any care for environmental consequences that abound. Who will be left on the hook when we start experiencing acid rain when the 10 oil ships are out there releasing toxic gases into the atmosphere? It will not be ExxonMobil; they are just on the hook for eligible oil spill costs.”