CDB notes importance of Guyana’s oil and gas sector to dynamics of Caribbean economies

CDB notes importance of Guyana’s oil and gas sector to dynamics of Caribbean economies

Guyana’s oil and gas industry will be a key player in the dynamics of the economies of Caribbean countries this year, according to the Director of Economics of the Caribbean Development Bank, (CDB), Ian Durant.

Speaking during the CDB’s Annual News Conference this morning, Mr. Durant said in 2023, Guyana’s oil sector was a significant driver of the average regional growth.

He said the country’s economic activities influenced growth in the region, and added that Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname also expanded the regional economic outlook, but at a more measured rate.

Mr. Durant said it is clear that Guyana will remain a key player in how the region’s economy performs this year.

“Looking ahead, the Caribbean Development Bank forecast and average growth of 8.6% for its nineteen borrowing member countries in 2024, largely attributable to increase oil production in Guyana and the continued expansion of the Tourism industry. Excluding Guyana, this growth projection falls to 2.3% a moderation from the estimated growth of 2.5% in 2023,” Mr. Durant noted. 

In addition, the CDB Economist said while the region is slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation continues to pose serious challenges to the region, with Haiti being severely affected. That country continues to record higher inflation levels due to instability and other factors.

Mr. Duncan said the inflation issue could get worse if the existing geo-political conflicts are escalated or should new ones arise.

“In 2023 inflation and associated risks to food and energy security continue to be a major concern. While inflation rates generally eased across the region, mirroring international trends, lingering high energy and food costs, supply chain issues and strong consumer demand, kept inflation elevated,” he noted.

However, it was noted that the region in itself could reduce some of its food security challenges by making regional trade easier and by improving logistics. 

Meanwhile, CDB’S Acting President, Isaac Solomon told reporters that the region is running out of time in achieving the UN- Sustainable goals due to several challenges, including climate change, threats to food and geopolitical conflicts.

“With our common future hanging in the balance, the stakes could not be higher. And it is within this context, that CDB continues to highlight the need to build financial, social, environmental production and institutional resilience in borrowing nations,” the CDB Acting President noted.

He said Caribbean countries must build their capacities to withstand shocks, since it is now clear that they cannot prevent them.

The Caribbean region has been pushing its climate change agenda as well as an initiative to reduce food imports by 25% within the next two years.

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