Guyana, the world’s fastest-growing economy, plans to use its newfound oil and gas wealth to fund investments in other sectors that will reduce its dependence on hydrocarbons, its president said.
The government wants to use the revenues from its massive offshore oil deposits to finance investments in mining, tourism, agriculture and other sectors, president Mohamed Irfaan Ali said during a trip to the US.
“While Guyana is an emerging hydrocarbon market, our economy will not be hydrocarbon-based,” Ali told the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, on Monday.
The International Monetary Fund forecasts Guyana’s economy will grow 47% this year on the back of oil exploration, and the government forecasts output of about 800,000 barrels per day by 2025.
The offshore oil deposits, which Exxon Mobil Corp first successfully drilled in 2015, are so large relative to Guyana’s population of 780,000 that some projections show the country on track to overtake Kuwait to become the world’s largest per-capita crude producer.
The remote South American nation, which borders Venezuela and Brazil, plans to use the influx of funds to build roads and infrastructure to open up other areas of the economy, including its gold, diamond, bauxite and copper mines, Ali said.
The country also wants to protect its Amazonian rainforest, Ali said. The thick jungles which cover most of its territory have the potential to generate more than $100 million per year in carbon credits, he said.