Home Top Stories GO-Invest’s finances nosedive from surplus to deficit – report
The annual report of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), which was recently laid in the National Assembly, has revealed that for the fiscal year 2016, the entity’s expenditure increased to the point where its finances were in a deficit.
According to the report, GO-Invest’s total income for 2016 was $140.6 million; an increase compared to 2015 when the entity made $124.2 million. Providing a breakdown of this sum, Government subventions made up most of 2016’s earnings at $126.1 million.
However, the company had to contend with depreciation, which cost it $4.9 million and disposal of assets, which cost $909,902. At the end of the year, GO-Invest recorded a deficit of $372,837; a worrying reduction from its surplus of almost $3 million in 2015.
The annual report shows that expenses, such as maintenance of the building, cost $12.9 million. Other charges such as travel and utility charges took up $5.4 million and $5.8 million respectively. Meanwhile, employment costs increased in the one-year span, going from $52.6 million in 2015 to $70.8 million in 2016.
A breakdown of the more significant employment costs shows that administrative staff costs increased from $4.6 million in 2015 to $18.1 million. Senior technical staff costs increased from $16.9 million to $21.5 million. Total benefits and allowances increased from $8.7 million to $9.2 million.
The report also states that in 2016, GO-Invest facilitated 57 Executed Investment Agreements (EIA). These ranged across sectors from forestry to the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sectors.
“In 2016, domestic investment was predominantly the source of investment for agriculture/agro-processing projects. GO-Invest facilitated and executed approximately 16 agriculture/agro-processing projects at a projected value of GY$7,948,624,000 with projected employment of 721 jobs,” the report states.
Of recent, there has been concern that the passage of the No-confidence Motion in December against the Government and its subsequent procrastination despite constitutionally due elections had impacted the business climate.
GO-Invest had claimed that the political climate in Guyana has had little effect on investments coming to Guyana. But in February, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) said it had conducted a study following the passage of the No-confidence Motion.
The organisation had found that the looming political uncertainty has caused some 64 per cent of businesses to register some sort of decline.
The Chamber had said it was concerned about the effect of the impact of the associated uncertainty on the business community, adding that it was that level of uncertainty which prompted the survey to gauge the effect of the political environment on business performance.
From the results, 64 per cent of respondents (or about two in every three businesses) experienced some form of decline owing to the uncertainty over the state of political affairs in Guyana.
For those businesses which registered a decline in activity, approximately 85 per cent experienced a 25 to 50 per cent drop in the level of commercial activity. The remaining 15 per cent experienced 75 to 100 per cent decline in business.
The Private Sector body had noted that the significant decline in commercial activity was worrying to itself and its membership. According to the Chamber, the continued state of political uncertainty can result in further decline in economic activity.
GCCI’s membership numbers over 240 business organisations from micro to enterprise level, located throughout the country and in Caricom.