South America

GDP per Capita ($)
Population (in 2021)
0.8 million


Country Risk
Business Climate




  • Attractive prospects for investors in mining, hydroelectric power and agriculture
  • Abundant offshore oil and gas reserves, under development since 2020
  • Member of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM)


  • Dependence on natural resources (gold, bauxite, sugar, rice, wood and, above all, oil since 2020)
  • Inadequate transport, electricity, education and health infrastructure
  • Lowskilled local workforce and mass emigration of skilled workers
  • Sensitivity to climatic events (hurricane-prone region)
  • Dependence on international creditors
  • High crime rate linked to drug trafficking in a context of poverty and corruption (ranked 85/180 by Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index in 2022)

Trade exchanges

Exportof goods as a % of total

United States of America
United Kingdom
Trinidad & Tobago

Importof goods as a % of total

Singapore 40 %
United States of America 20 %
Trinidad & Tobago 8 %
China 7 %
Europe 4 %


This section is a valuable tool for corporate financial officers and credit managers. It provides information on the payment and debt collection practices in use in the country.

The boom in the oil sector, the driving force behind durably stellar growth

In 2024, the economy will continue to perform strongly, with growth well ahead of neighbouring countries thanks to increased production in the oil sector. The major discoveries of oil resources in the Stabroek block, exploited by the consortium of ExxonMobil, Hess and CNOOC, have propelled the country to the rank of the third-largest commercially exploitable oil reserve in Latin America and the Caribbean, with an estimated 11 billion barrels. With offshore exploitation already under way (two fields in production, Liza-1 since 2021 and Liza-2 since 2022), daily production quadrupled between 2021 and 2023 and should continue to rise sharply in 2024 thanks to the start of production at the Payara field to reach 700,000 barrels per day. The economy will also continue to benefit from high oil prices, which are expected to rise. Oil production will continue to generate significant public and foreign investment: the projects currently under development are estimated by the operating consortium at USD 42.5 billion and new investors should be attracted by the upward revision of medium- and long-term production forecasts. Non-oil activity, particularly construction and services, will be boosted by the positive impact of the oil sector and the need for investment in infrastructure. The reforms made in 2023 to the Local Content Act, enacted in 2021 to stimulate the local economy, aim to integrate the growth of the oil and gas industry more fully with the introduction of specific provisions for the sector, and should help to strengthen the trickle-down effect on the local economy. Business will also benefit from the robust momentum of the gold sector (gold accounted for 5% of exports in 2022), which is still trading at a high price. Inflation, which has remained in single digits, unlike in most neighbouring countries, will fall slightly, in line with moderating global food prices. However, public spending and the rise in real wages due to the spin-off from the oil sector will keep inflation above pre-pandemic levels. The volatility of global oil prices is one of the main risks to economic growth. The agricultural sector, which could suffer from droughts brought on by the El Niño weather phenomenon, which would affect its production as well as the price of imported agricultural products.

Public and external accounts bolstered by oil windfall

The oil sector will generate solid public revenues through the royalties and taxes associated with it, and should be supported by the durably high prices of energy products. Revenues will also be boosted by the ongoing negotiation of value-added sharing between operating companies and the government for future contracts, as part of the award of 14 oil blocks. Expenditure will remain high despite the gradual reduction in tax subsidies granted to consumers against a backdrop of high inflation. Economic development is accompanied by large-scale public spending plans, particularly in the areas of health and education (increase in the allowance for the elderly, “Because we care” student grants, etc.), as well as costly efforts to expand the capacity of administrations to improve the implementation of public policies and the management of large capital expenditures. The deficit will be financed mainly from the reserves of the Natural Resources Fund (replenished upstream by oil revenues), thereby reducing the public debt.

The current account will again record a very large surplus, mainly thanks to the positive trade balance. High oil prices and rising oil production will support exports, far outstripping the rise in imports of capital goods needed for oil and mining operations and for projects generated by public investment. The trade balance will also continue to benefit from large gold exports. This trade surplus will continue to more than offset the deficits in services and revenues associated with the activities of foreign oil companies.

Local elections confirm PPP's power

President Irfaan Ali of the centre-left People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP) took office in August 2020 following a political crisis. He succeeded David Granger, who headed a multi-ethnic coalition, the People's National Congress or PNC, led by APNU (A Partnership for National Unity) and its young ally, AFC (Alliance for Change). The political environment in Guyana has historically been characterised by racial and ethnic divisions, which often influence electoral preferences and political alliances. While the Indo-Guyanese community largely supports the PPP, the Afro-Guyanese population favours the APNU due to historical friction between the two parties, which generates political friction. Mr Ali's party has 33 seats in Parliament, giving it a narrow majority in the 65-seat National Assembly (the APNU and AFC coalition has 31 seats). The local elections, initially scheduled for 2020 and finally held in June 2023, strengthened the PPP’s power, including in regions historically dominated by opposition parties: the party was elected in 67 of the 80 regions at stake. However, the significance of this victory is put into perspective by the low turnout (35%) and the lack of coordination between the opposition parties. Political stability is expected to last until the next presidential elections, due in 2025, despite the resurgence of social tensions between the Indo-Guyanese and Afro-Guyanese communities in the run-up to the local elections. Since taking office, Mr Ali's government has softened its criticism of the production-sharing agreement concluded in 2016 by the APNU with ExxonMobil (considered to be excessively favourable to the company). In August 2022, the government reaffirmed its commitment to abide by the agreement, while ensuring that future contracts with other oil and gas companies would be more favourable to the country: the award of 14 future oil blocks will thus be carried out under new conditions, more beneficial to the government and defined by a new framework adopted in April 2023. Despite persistently high levels of corruption (with Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index ranking the country 85th in the world in 2022), the country's participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) should help to ensure that the oil windfall is properly managed.

Following the death in April 2021 of President Idriss Déby who was killed by rebel forces, his son Mahamat Déby took office with the consent of the African Union, given the urgent security situation, despite challenges to his legitimacy. In September 2022, the "transitional" President was given broad executive powers by a meeting of co-opted persons such as the new Prime Minister, Saleh Kebzabo. The transition, which can last up to two years (from September 2022) is still ongoing. While 2024 will probably see elections (presidential and legislative) resulting in a cabinet reshuffle, Mahamat Déby may stand as a candidate and retain the Presidency. While no elections have taken place in the country since 2015 (successive postponements owing to the security context and the subsequent death of Idriss Déby), the next elections will take place in a tense context. The army is omnipresent and the repression of opposition is severe (as was the case of the anti-government demonstrations on 20 October 2022, in response to the announcement of the extension of the transition and the eligibility of members of the transition for the next elections, which were violently repressed, resulting in more than 100 deaths and 300 injuries), in addition to the security threat from Sudan, which is high. The conflict in Sudan could also be a source of instability due to the large influx of Sudanese refugees via the introduction of a humanitarian corridor amid a state of food emergency that was declared in Chad in 2022 and a serious humanitarian crisis. Furthermore, although the junta intends not to take sides in the conflict affecting its neighbour, the geographical proximity of the two countries, as well as the proximity of their communities (the President's family is from the Zaghawa ethnic group, which is in the majority in Sudanese Darfur, one of the two main areas of fighting) and their history, has exacerbated fears of increased tensions within the country and a resurgence of the terrorist threat.

Le déficit du compte courant devrait se réduire en 2024, dans le sillage d’exportations dynamiques qui participeront à l’élargissement de l’excédent commercial. Cependant, il sera encore entretenu par une balance des services (principalement de transports) déficitaire (5 % du PIB), et le rapatriement de bénéfice des sociétés étrangères (principalement dans le secteur minier). L’instabilité politique et sécuritaire persistante continuera de limiter les entrées d’IDE et l’aide extérieure.

Last updated: August 2023

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