Finance Minister foresees positive economic growth for remainder of 2021

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Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh

As news of the positive growth of the economy makes waves, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh expressed confidence that the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Guyana will continue to increase as the year progresses.

The finance minister made this disclosure during an interview with the National Communications Network (NCN) on Thursday during which he discussed the findings of the mid-year report. The widely-talked-about report highlights the performance of the Guyana economy, which grew in real terms by 14.5 per cent while the non-oil GDP grew by 4.8 per cent during the first six months of 2021.

“Looking ahead for the remainder of the year, we anticipate continued growth and so the economy as a whole, we are looking at our latest projections, will grow in about the vicinity of 20 per cent. Our current projections show that the non-oil economy will show 3.7 per cent.”

Dr. Singh reminded that the first half of 2021 has not been an easy period and pointed to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said in addition to the global health crisis, Guyana was faced with the environmental shocks of the devastating and unprecedented nationwide flooding.

“When you consider the fact that you had the reality of COVID-19 and you consider the fact that you had the flood impacting a number of sectors in a very significant way, you come to realise that recording growth of 4.8 percent is in fact an extremely commendable achievement.”

This growth, the minister said, came out of a number of important sectors, including rice, notwithstanding the countrywide flooding; increased quarrying; as well as manufacturing.

Considering the country’s current economic performance, the finance minister pointed out that one must take into account the poor fiscal state the PPP/C Government inherited from the former Administration.

“We assumed office when the economy was literally on its death bed. As a result of bad policies for five years, as a result of mismanagement of most of the productive sectors, as a result of an environment that was hostile to investment and the private sector, as a result of the refusal to respect the no-confidence motion and then the refusal to respect the elections, by the time you got to August 2020, the economy was in a state of collapse.”

Rebuilding the economy and investor confidence has not been an easy task, the finance minister said. He however noted that President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali is keen on engaging with the local and international private sector to send a very clear signal that his government is deeply concerned with economic growth and prosperity.

Going forward, Minister Singh expects the aggressive expansion of all other sectors in Guyana as he pointed out that logically, Guyana is the place to set up shop.

“I anticipate continued strong investor interest and that is a direct result of the policy environment that we have created since we have assumed office.”

Earlier this year, the senior finance minister indicated that Guyana would be one of the fastest-growing economies in terms of real GDP and would see rapid transformation in a number of sectors especially since the government would make efforts to boost the non-oil economy as well.

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