PSC endorses Guyana’s Local Content law amid criticisms from regional private sector body

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Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Paul Cheong

Below is a statement from the Private Sector Commission (PSC) in response to the CARICOM Private Sector Organisation (CPSO). The CPSO is contending that Guyana’s Local Content Act violates the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas which establishes the Caribbean Community.

The statement issued on Thursday by the PSC reads as follows:

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) this afternoon met to consider a statement attributed to Mr. Gervase Warner, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Massy Group of Companies in Trinidad and Tobago on Guyana’s Local Content Act.

According to the statement, Mr. Warner proposed having the CARICOM Private Sector Organisation (CPSO) raise with the Government of Guyana and the Caricom Secretariat what he described as violations in the Act with respect to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.  

The PSC questions the legitimacy of the CPSO which constituency consists of some Pan Caribbean companies noting that the organisation does not represent the interest of the local private sector.

The Commission notes that the purpose of Local Content straddles countries, regions, and continents and forms an integral part of the Petroleum Sector. 

The PSC wishes to note, in fact, that Trinidad and Tobago has had in place for more than 50 years, a regime of local content “predicated on maximising citizens’ ownership, control and financing of all activities along the energy resources sector” thus giving preference to Trinidadians.

The Commission is satisfied that the policies expressed in Guyana’s Local Content Act are not dissimilar to those of Trinidad and Tobago’s and do not violate the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. 

We, therefore, stand by and fully endorse the aims and objectives of the Act which are designed to ensure that Guyanese companies and nationals benefit from the Oil and Gas sector. 

The PSC welcomes foreign investors and urges respect for the country’s laws and sovereign space. 

-END-

Head of the CARICOM Private Sector Organisation (CPSO), Gervase Warner

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