Guyana
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Guyana records massive 59.5% economic growth

In first half of 2023; non-oil GDP growth of 12.3% also recorded

– President Ali reassures Guyanese of continued progress, as major sectors continue along positive trajectory

AMIDST the massive economic boom taking place in Guyana’s oil and non-oil sectors, President Dr. Irfaan Ali revealed, on Saturday, that the nation’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by an estimated 59.5 per cent, in the first half of 2023 while the non-oil economy grew by 12.3 per cent.

During a press conference at State House, he said: “We are not a country pursuing a future of oil and gas. We are a country pursuing a balanced, holistic [and] diversified portfolio that will see sustainability and resilience of our economy, our country and our people,” adding that this positive trajectory is a result of the enormous injections being pumped into the non-oil economy.

The President then gave light to the real GDP growing by an estimated 59.5 per cent, in the first half of 2023.

However, he said that what was important to note was that the non-oil economy grew by 12.3 per cent in the first half of the year.

“And this is as a direct result of the policy matrix of the government in the country,” the President firmly stated.

Sectors that were left to decay under the previous coalition government have been revived and reignited, according to the President, and are contributing largely to the expansion of Guyana’s economy.

Expounding on the significant growth in the traditional sectors, Dr. Ali gave recognition to agriculture’s continuous blossoming.

He said that agriculture, forestry and fishing expanded by a 7.6 per cent in the first half of 2023.

“Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, these were sectors that were completely destroyed in the five years of the last government,” the President said while unveiling that the forestry sector was in a state of bankruptcy under the former A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) administration.

Notwithstanding these hurdles, Dr. Ali said that his government transformed the agriculture sector that was previously seen as a burden to farmers.

Moreover, while reaffirming his government’s commitment to restoring the once revered sugar industry and reintegrating it back into the local economy, the President stated that when compared to the first half of 2022, the sugar industry grew by 30.1 per cent.

Reflecting on a time of despair that saw the closure of a number of sugar estates and the termination of thousands of workers, he went on to remark that despite masquerading and putting on a mask of concern, those persons who neglected the sugar industry will not be forgotten.

Furthermore, the Head of State related that there are ongoing consultations between him and sugar workers on a number of topics.

PROGRESS

In addition, the rice industry, in the first half of 2023, when compared to 2022, grew by an estimated 3.2 per cent.

The Head of State said that the growth can be linked to the continuous investment in drainage irrigation, fiscal incentives, the increase in the utilisation of technology, the expansion of research and development along with the opening up of new lands.

When it came to other crops sector, according to Dr. Ali, the area is estimated to have grown by 9.4 per cent in the first half of 2023.

Meanwhile, the livestock industry grew by an estimated 9.4 per cent in the first half of this year.

The President also positively related the statistics of the forestry sector and said that, despite his administration inheriting an industry in absolute ruins, it has now been transformed.

Notably, the forestry sector in the first half of 2023 grew by 4.5 per cent.

President Ali said: “Now, when you understand the nature of the growth of the productive sector, you will know that this growth is linked to critical competence of the economy, transportation logistics, food, mechanical services, machining, machining services and drivers,” explaining that the expansion converts into the development and advancement of other sectors.

Noting that because of robust policy making decisions by his administration, the fishing industry was able to see new heights and thus, the sector expanded by 9.9 per cent in the first half of 2023.

Also, the extractive sector, that is: mining and quarrying, showed an overall growth of 89.9 per cent in the first half of 2023, with a strong growth in the petroleum sub-sector.

Speaking on the mining and quarrying industry, he said: “When we came into government quarrying was virtually dead. The production was at an all-time low, even when compared to 2015,” adding: “We have been able to bring the necessary measures and fiscal incentives to stimulate back the sector to the extent that in the first half of this year, other mining and quarrying grew by 45.2 per cent.”

The President further stated that the manufacturing sector is estimated to have grown by 17.7 per cent and within the service industry; sales grew by 9.1 per cent.

“So, the construction sector has grown substantially in the first half of this year by 44.1 per cent. When you look at the monetary developments, you will see that credit to the private sector grew by 5 per cent and this growth is expected to further advance in the second half of this year,” Dr. Ali stated.

The Head of State also noted that the credit to business enterprises in the services and manufacturing sectors grew by 3.3 per cent and 8.9 per cent respectively.

While, real estate mortgages grew by 7.3 per cent, according to the President, this is largely driven by mortgages granted for private dwellings. He said that this growth also came with reduced interest rates.

In light of this, the Head of State remarked: “So, when we look at the state of our economy and the matrix of the economy, you would see it as reflective of the policy orientation of the Government and the spread of development. The spread of growth is exactly what we are pursuing for Guyana.”