(Stabroek News, 20.Aug.2019) — The representatives of 15 Guyanese companies will be participating in an oil and gas conference and exhibition in Aberdeen, Scotland, next month.
This was revealed yesterday by President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GGCI) Nicholas Deygoo-Boyer during a briefing at the residence of United Kingdom High Commissioner to Guyana Greg Quinn.
Deygoo-Boyer said the delegation, which currently comprises about 20 confirmed delegates, will be attending the Society of Petroleum Engineer’s biennial Offshore Europe Conference and Exhibition, which will run from September 3rd to September 6th.
He said the Chamber is hoping that the 15 companies that will be represented will benefit from the mission as it relates to education and networking opportunities. It is also important for local companies to present a “face” to foreign companies, he noted, since they often try to do research about Guyana and do not have the information readily available or “searchable” online, which may discourage their interest.
“It makes the GCCI useful because we can then provide that information. I’m sure the British High Commission does that for UK companies, but for networking, when you get that face-to-face interaction, those company representatives can now directly ask you questions and you get all sorts of questions on the size of the market, the complexity and regulations involved. So that networking is important,” Deygoo-Boyer said.
He also pointed out that the trade mission will provide an opportunity for local companies to pitch their products and services, thereby making foreign companies aware that they are ready to serve the industry.
“So networking offers two parts – fielding information about the general market and fielding information about specific companies’ abilities. That allows companies who are looking at making a Foreign Direct Investment [FDI] to feel a little more comfortable and do their due diligence easier,” he noted.
“…Over the past week, we have had the good news that Tullow, a UK-based company, through its partnership with ECO (Atlantic) had made [an oil] discovery. The thing is that it is positive news that Guyana’s relationship with the UK, from an oil industry perspective, will be strengthened and from the private sector that is not directly an oil company we want to be ready to be able to provide services and understand the network of service providers in the UK, using these types of exhibitions and for that it is an important step for us to participate,” Deygoo-Boyer added.
Last November, the GCCI fielded a mission to Aberdeen. It included representatives from the private and public sectors and, according to Deygoo-Boyer, relationships were built around education and trading skills development.
He further noted that the upcoming event is the largest offshore oil industry exhibition of its kind and the Chamber wanted to take advantage of it this year, given that it would have to wait another two years until the next one is held. This year’s event promises to be larger than those held in previous years.
Working along with the British High Commission in Guyana, the Guyana High Commission in the United Kingdom, and Valiant Media, Deygoo-Boyer said, the GCCI came up with a way to have Guyana represented. He noted that it is a logistical challenge to fly to the United Kingdom and he lauded the local companies for still showing interest despite the cost, which he hoped will be reduced in future.
In addition to attending the exhibition, the GGCI will also be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce. He was not keen on revealing the details of the MoU until it is signed next month.
Also speaking at the press conference, Quinn said that the latest development is a product of the relationship that has been built between Aberdeen and Guyana over the last 12 to 18 months following last year’s trade mission and visit by the Energy Industry Council, a trade association, to Guyana in January.
“We are now going over to offshore Europe and we have further visits from the Energy Council next year. Valiant Media have got a Guyana pavilion that will be set up and there are a variety of other activities which are Guyana specific,” he said, while noting that there are a lot of opportunities for local companies to “link up and hook up” with companies in the United Kingdom and that there is an expectation that the upcoming mission will help take the relationship to “another level.”
Quinn emphasised that by making the effort last November and having companies with their representatives present to explain what things are in the country has “very significantly” increased interest in companies here. He said he now talks to at least two companies per day interested in coming to Guyana, compared with one per week four years ago.