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Private sector organisation hosting Guyana’s first civil society forum on Sovereign Wealth Fund

The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) will Thursday hold the country’s first civil society forum on government’s proposed Sovereign Wealth Fund that will be used to save and manage the country’s expected huge inflows of oil earnings.

The association, which represents more than 100 large and medium-scale businesses, plans to bring together a ranger of perspectives from government and civil society on the proposed facility.

“Considering that there has not been any civil society and private sector inputs or involvement in the shaping of the Green Paper, the GMSA is convening a Discussion Forum for members of the private sector and civil society to be made aware of the Green Paper, the proposals for the SWF and to offer their perspectives,” the association said in a statement.

The GMSA says it hopes to compile a report on the forum and present them to Guyana government for consideration.

The GMSA represents 100 large and medium scale businesses from the agro- processing, forestry and wood processing, minerals, engineering and construction, fast foods, pharmaceuticals and services sectors.

Expected the form the basis for Thursday’s discussion scheduled to begin at 8:30 AM at the Pegasus Hotel, Kingston, Georgetown, is government’s Green Paper “Managing Future Petroleum Revenues and Establishment of a Fiscal Rule and a Sovereign Wealth Fund” which was presented to the National Assembly on August 9, 2018.  That document is expected to set the stage for the passage of legislation by year-end. “The GMSA recognized the importance of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) as a key mechanism to manage revenues from extractive industries, and in particular, oil and gas. The design, establishment and implementation is therefore a key national issue which can shape Guyana’s future development,” the business organisation said.

Organisers said the panel discussion is expected to cover topics such as guiding principles for a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), oversight and management of the SWF, how should the SWF be utilized and mechanisms for doing so, (4) role of civil society and the private sector.

Panelists are GMSA Executive  Member Ramesh Dookhoo, trade unionist Lincoln Lewis,  Consultant and University Lecturer Carol Webster, Chartered Accountant & Attorney At Law Chris Ram, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Private Enterprise Development Ramesh Persaud, former Chairman of the Private Sector Commission Nigel Hinds who is an Auditor and Financial Consultant