Guyana - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview
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Guyana is located on the northeast Atlantic coast of South America and is bordered by Venezuela, Suriname, and Brazil.  It is the only English-speaking country on the continent.  Despite its geographic location in South America, Guyana is considered a Caribbean country due to its political and cultural history.  The capital, Georgetown, hosts the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Secretariat.  Guyana is an increasingly popular market given its rapid economic growth spurred by the 2015 discovery of oil.  Guyana boasts many natural resources including oil and gold. The country is rich in arable land and seeks to diversify its economy with growing agriculture and manufacturing sectors.  Guyana is roughly the size of Idaho but with a small population of nearly 800,000, 70 percent of whom live on the narrow coastal plain.  The interior remains sparsely populated and features intact rainforests and savannahs.

The Economic Environment:

Guyana’s macroeconomic environment remains stable and presents diverse opportunities for trade and investment.  In 2022, Guyana recorded 62 percent GDP growth fueled by oil and gas development.  Non-oil GDP grew by 7.7 percent in 2022. Guyana’s GDP as of mid-year 2023 recorded growth of 59.1 percent with the non-oil sector expanding by 12.3 percent and is forecasted to grow annually by 28.2 percent. The Government of Guyana (GoG) key priorities for development are energy, climate, and food security. Guyana’s inflation rate is projected to be 3.6 percent for calendar year 2023 according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The GoG maintains an expansionary fiscal policy.  Guyana’s currency remains relatively stable, and Guyana’s foreign exchange midrate remained unchanged in 2022 at GYD $208.5 to USD $1. Net domestic credit expanded by 13.9 percent.  The Capital Adequacy Ratio for Licensed Depository Financial Institutions remains well above the eight percent benchmark.  The banking sector remains limited in Guyana, with political leadership calling for additional financial institutions to enter the market. Guyana’s market capitalization grew by approximately 46 percent in 2022. Businesses report difficulty listing on the local stock exchange. 

Approximately 87 percent of Guyana’s landmass is covered in forests, which the GoG seeks to leverage via carbon credit programs and thereby incentivize their preservation.  Proceeds from these carbon credit programs will be invested in renewable energy development programs, and other emissions reduction initiatives as part of the government’s broader Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). In late 2022, Guyana sold 30 percent of its carbon credits for USD 750 million. The GoG continues to advertise the remaining carbon credits for sale and seek to leverage its carbon credit program and expand on blue carbon credits to preserve its forest.

ExxonMobil made additional discoveries of oil in 2022 and consequently upgraded its estimate of total recoverable resources in the massive offshore Stabroek block to nearly 11 billion barrels.  In 2021, the GoG passed the Local Content Act (LCA) into law, which mandates 40 service lines, and products, related to the oil and gas industry must be procured from Guyanese owned and operated companies.  The LCA also requires companies to seek approval from the Local Content Secretariat for any sole source procurements worth $500 or more. The Natural Resource Fund (NRF), Guyana’s sovereign wealth fund, contained $1.7 billion as of June 2023 and some estimate it could earn over $73 billion over the lifespan of oil and gas production in Guyanese waters.

Guyana’s public investment program focuses on building out infrastructure for transportation, housing, and sea defense whilst developing human capital to support non-oil growth.

The United States is Guyana’s largest trading partner.  Guyana’s largest imports from the United States are fuels and lubricants, equipment, and cement.  Guyana’s major exports are oil, gold, rice, fish, timber, and sugar. 

Political Environment

For background information on the political and economic environment of the country, please visit the State Department’s bilateral relations page.