Transforming Guyana, Season II, Episode II, Local Content in the emerging Guyanese Oil and Gas Economy



  • Thomas Rodriguez: Local Content Director & Executive Vice-President – Association for Mozambican Local Content
  • André Brändli: Professor of Molecular Pathophysiology
  • Tony Paul: Energy, Policy & Strategy Advisor: Supporting Equity and Sustainable Development from Oil, Natural Gas and Mining
  • Joel Bhagwandin: Director, SphereX Professional Services | Commissioner, Public Procurement Commission, Guyana

DATE: July 12, 2023


  • Terrence Blackman: Founder, Guyana Business Journal
  • Anthony Bryan: CPC Co-Chair & Fellow, Senior Fellow, Institute of International Relations, UWI

You can view the webinar here

Relevant Quotes

Tony Paul:

  • “As the owner of the resource, countries should understand that they have a right to ask for some benefit from the money they’re spending…The good thing about doing this now is that if you participate in the oil and gas sector with major companies and their contractors, you’re working alongside and learning from best-in-class companies in the world. That participation in the sector is critically important to building capacity.”
  • “When we invest, we get modern salaries and wages – profits. If you put that back in the local economy, then we can build our capital markets and have the capacity to invest, using the business skills and the capital, in other sectors. That’s what allows us to transform our economies rather than just participate in the sector.”

 Joel Bhagwandin:

  • “Up to this point, we have 838 companies that are registered with the Local Content Secretariat. Of these, we have 752 companies, about 90% of the total, that are 100 percent Guyanese-owned…about 80 to 90 percent of these companies have contracts in the oil and gas sector.”
  • “It is important to note that the local content legislation is specific to oil and gas; all the other sectors are open to foreign companies and foreign participation.”

 Terrence Blackman:

  • “To give a proper, objective report, there are challenges and opportunities. We should always have both of them sitting on the table.”
  • “I think it’s important for us to have, at times, a sharp critique of what we’re doing as a way to [help us] form consensus that moves the country forward in an equitable manner.”

 Anthony Bryan:

  • “One message that comes through is that increased local content will remain elusive unless it is supported by positive action on the part of government and the firms that account for most of the expenditure.”
  • “Local content optimizes the level of usage of local goods, services, people, business, so all in all, it can’t really be a bad thing.”

Thomas Rodriguez:

  • “Communication is very important and those who have the guts to share terms of reference and invite others to contribute…there’s a lot of very knowledgeable and experts in any country, but not everyone has the same means to implement something.”
  • “Oil and gas is a very dynamic environment when it comes to technology and skills, so we always need to be updated and have ambassadors, teachers to relay information to students and existing workers.”

André Brändli:

  • “There’s a shortage of skilled labor. There’s a small pool of Guyanese with tertiary degrees…then the oil and gas industry competes successfully for those few employees that have skills, which leads to other problems.”
  • “Do you want to close off and be protective, or do you want to provide a playing ground where foreign companies come in, enjoy being here and as a fringe benefit, train local people.”
  • “Guyana is a country that didn’t have resources they were able to monetize for the longest time. I think with the onset of the oil era, we are in a different situation and we should be able to use that money for the benefit of the Guyanese people.”

Terrence Blackman, Ph.D., Founder & CEO Guyana Business Journal

Dr. David E. Lewis, Fellow and Co-Chair, Caribbean Policy Consortium