Guyana - Country Commercial Guide
Market Opportunities

Overview of best prospect sectors, major infrastructure projects, significant government procurements and business opportunities.
 

Last published date: 2021-10-14

Guyana is culturally open to U.S. products and services, which enjoy favorable brand recognition.  The quality and reliability of U.S goods and services encourages businesses and consumers to purchase from the United States. Attracting Foreign Direct Investment remains a key priority for the Government of Guyana.

Key market opportunities include the following:

Oil and Gas Production and Exploration

Guyana’s recent oil-producer status has transformed the construction and supporting services sectors, creating both opportunity and shortages.  The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Guyanese coastal area holds approximately 13.6 billion recoverable oil reserves and gas reserves of 32 trillion cubic feet.  ExxonMobil publicly announced a commercially viable estimate of over 9 billion recoverable oil equivalent barrels following the 22 discoveries made in Guyana.

Public Private Partnerships

The Government of Guyana (GoG) actively seeks public private partnerships for major development projects such as the Amaila Falls, Gas-to-Shore, and Agricultural Development projects.  Other emerging areas of opportunity include bridge infrastructure, port development, and information technology.

Renewable Energy

The government of Guyana created special tax incentives for companies utilizing renewable energy options including: gasifiers, wind, solar, and hydro.  Furthermore, there are opportunities for the development of micro-grids and the introduction of smart grid technologies.  The Government has an ambitious Amaila Falls hydropower plant project which is a public private partnership, along with its first wind project.  A change in the income tax law in 2018 allows for the write-off of capital expenses within two years and the waiving of import duties and VAT on new equipment.  Renewable energy projects provide an attractive investment opportunity to address Guyana’s unstable supply and high electricity costs.  Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  A major challenge deterring widespread commercial adoption of renewables remains a lack of grid tie-in legislation. 

Information and Communication Technology

Guyana has two major telecommunication companies providing internet and phone services.  Tax concessions are available to investors and various business process outsourcing centers have recently opened in Guyana.  Guyana’s unique position at the tip of South America along with its English-speaking culture make it an attractive destination for outsourcing centers.  As demand grows for data processing and warehousing, Guyana is mainly hampered by its high cost of electricity.  In October 2020, the Government of Guyana liberalized the telecommunication sector.  The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed an adoption of e-banking services, and this drove demand for financial technology companies in Guyana.  Guyana’s labor force is well educated with a high literacy rate.  Additionally, the country has a competitive wage rate in comparison to Latin America.

Agriculture

Guyana’s leadership would like it to become a breadbasket for the Caribbean.  Guyana’s large productive lands and robust water supply present opportunities for growth.  Agriculture is a significant driver of Guyana’s economy, accounting for an estimated 16.8% of GDP in 2020.  Tax concessions are available for investors in the agricultural sector.   While rice is the major agricultural export, opportunities exist for aquaculture, agritourism, and processing of fruits and vegetables.  Leadership is keen to see more value added processing for agricultural products, though again this transition is hampered by the high cost of electricity.  There are also opportunities to work with the state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) as the government seeks to revitalize the sugar industry and pivot into related agricultural business. 

Educational Training Centers

The Government of Guyana rolled out a scholarship program aimed at developing the workforce to meet emerging industry demands.