The future’s looking good for Guyana

Dear Editor,
The World Bank, in its latest Global Economic Prospects, projected that Guyana’s economy would grow by some 49.7 percent in 2022. This is staggering, and is worth a big shout from all of us here. According to the Finance Head, Dr. Ashni Singh, this anticipated economic growth comes as no surprise, given the Government’s work to boost investor confidence.
To really grasp the enormity of Guyana’s projected financial well-being, I need to contextualise a few things. First, the International Monetary Fund, the IMF, suggested that the global economy shrank by 4.4% in 2020. The organisation described the decline as the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The only major economy to grow in 2020 was China; it registered a growth of 2.3%. The IMF adds that “We see the world economy growing by 5.7% through the end of 2021. We expect growth to slow to 4.6% in 2022.”
Secondly, the World Bank has cut its forecast for global economic growth in 2022, saying that COVID-19 flare-ups, supply chain shortages, and waning Government support have resulted in a “pronounced slowdown” of the recovery from the pandemic. So, no one can doubt how well Guyana is beginning to fare.
According to Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, this kind of optimism, based on real figures, is a result of the work that the Government has put in to creating an investor-friendly environment. He detailed, “We are pleased to see the positive revision in the World Bank’s outlook for Guyana. This is good news, but we are not surprised. This is, in fact, to be expected, given our government’s strong policy stance as it relates to economic growth, to investment, to job creation, and income generation for the benefit of all Guyanese.”
Let us be reminded that when the Administration belatedly took office in August 2020, a lot of work was necessary, as the country was in dire straits, but as Dr. Singh pointed out, financial jurisprudence prevailed, resulting in several immediate interventions “…aimed at stimulating economic activity, including injecting liquidity in the economy through the COVID-19 cash grant, reduction of taxes, and increased public expenditure in critical infrastructure projects were undertaken.” All these have paid great dividends. So, for the Minister, there is no big surprise in Guyana’s high rating, as “what we are seeing now is the result of measures and interventions such as these.”
One more thing, and that is, right in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, unprecedented floods hit Guyana, to the point that “…
we are still grappling with the tail end of the effects of the severe and devastating floods that we had in 2021…”
the Minister aptly pointed out.
I expect now that with what has so far unfolded since August 2020, Guyanese can be very upbeat. Why? The Government promises to remain resolutely committed to ensuring that the economy achieves strong growth; and, very importantly, strong growth that is translated into business opportunities and job creation and income for Guyanese people.

Yours truly,
Attiya Baksh