Guyana has a small population of approximately 800,000 people, perennially high energy costs ($0.32 per kilowatt hour), an unreliable electrical grid, poor infrastructure, and the country is prone to flooding, particularly along the coastline, which sits below sea level. Foreign companies often find it expedient to partner with a local firm to help navigate the intricacies of the local market, especially if they are interested in bidding on public tenders, which often have complicated submission criteria and opaque selection processes. American firms are encouraged to keep records of all transactions throughout the bidding process as evidence of compliance with submission standards. U.S. stakeholders continue to raise concerns regarding enforcement of contracts and partnerships.
A surge in commodity prices generated by Russia’s war in Ukraine has created supply chain bottlenecks and driven up costs in Guyana.
The LCA was signed into law on December 31, 2021, and came into effect in April 2022. The additional reporting requirements slow companies’ operations and increase operating costs, in some cases requiring firms to re-tender for services already provided by a Guyanese firm. The law broadly defines local content as the supply of goods, or the provision of services, by Guyanese nationals or Guyanese companies. The LCA’s first schedule for local content targets lists quotas for 40 services, material inputs, and job descriptions. The targets range from near total local sourcing (90 to 100 percent) for services like ground transportation of personnel, local accounting and legal services, and pest control services to lower levels (between 5 to 25 percent) for more technical items like dredging services, engineering and machining, borehole testing, environmental services and studies, and aviation support services.