flag Guyana Guyana: Investing

FDI in Figures

According to the UNCTAD's 2021 World Investment Report, FDI inflows into Guyana have increased, reaching USD 1.8 billion in 2020, compared to USD 1.7 billion in 2019, despite the global economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The total stock of FDI was estimated at USD 7.9 billion in 2020. Traditionally, transportation, communications, and agricultural sectors have attracted the most FDI, but the energy sector has recently become attractive as illustrated by large investments in mining and hydroelectric projects. The Chinese company China Railway First Group is the main investor of the Amaila Falls hydroelectric project (EUR 641 million) while British Whitefox Technology and Brazilian Green finance the construction of a new bioethanol processing factory. In 2015, Exxon announced the discovery of offshore oil reserves in the Guyana coast, which boosted the flow of FDI in the country. The Canadian company Guyana Goldfields and the Australian Troy Resources works towards opening new goldmines. The largest investor in Guyana is the United States.

The country ranked 134th out of 190 countries for its business environment in the last Doing Business report, published by the World Bank in 2020, the same spot as the previous year. Despite the Government's willingness to promote public-private partnerships, foreign direct investment in the country is not very high due to the poor attractiveness and the weak local market, but has lately increased due to the attractiveness of oil and energetic sectors. However, the Republic of Guyana offers a favourable business environment for foreign investors. The government provides several investment incentives, including a flat business tax rate, waivers of customs duties, export tax allowances, and unrestricted repatriation of profits. Loans from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) are used to address infrastructure issues (roads, irrigation, sanitation), freeing up funding in other areas. Regional investment has increased since the country joined CARICOM (the Caribbean Community and Common Market) over a decade ago. The Guyana Office for Investment provides guidelines to invest in the country. According to them, the top sectors to invest in the Guyana are agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing, services, energy, tourism, forestry, information and communication technology, and mining. The tourism sector is particularly attractive for investors, because the government offers tax exemptions for various areas within the sector, such as hotels, resorts, lodges, and tour operations, among others. Guyana’s rising oil revenues are expected to make a significant difference in the continued development of the country. However, in order for Guyana to achieve its full potential with the discovery of these resources, a stable regulatory and fiscal environment is essential. Since the discovery of offshore reserves in 2015, oil and gas companies invested around USD 8.1 billion in exploration and development activities in the Guyana’s offshore sector. The government estimates that the deal they made with Exxon Mobil brought USD 300 million in 2020, and should surge to USD 5 billion by 2025. Hess said it spent USD 1.3 billion in capital and exploration in Guyana in 2020.

 

Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Guyana Latin America & Caribbean United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 5.0 4.1 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 5.0 5.2 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 8.0 6.7 9.0 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action.

 
Foreign Direct Investment 201920202021
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 1,6951,8341,162
FDI Stock (million USD) 6,111.57,945.49,107.1
Number of Greenfield Investments* 2.06.06.0
Value of Greenfield Investments (million USD) 2217180

Source: UNCTAD - Latest available data

Note: * Greenfield Investments are a form of Foreign Direct Investment where a parent company starts a new venture in a foreign country by constructing new operational facilities from the ground up.

 

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Tax Rates

Value-added tax (VAT)
14% (standard rate).
Goods for export and international travel are zero-rated; educational services, international transport services, locally mined raw gold or diamonds, residential rent, certain medical services, food items and consumer products are exempt.
Company Tax
40%
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 20%, Interests: 20%, Royalties: 20%.
Bilateral Agreement
The United Kingdom and Guyana are bound by a double taxation treaty.
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers
8.4% (on monthly salaries up to GYD 280,000)
Other Domestic Resources
Guyana Revenue Authority
Overview of Guyana's tax measures in response to Covid-19
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.
 
 

Individual Taxes

Individual Income tax Progressive rates up to 40%
From GYD 0 to 1,560,000 28% (with personal allowance equal to the higher of GYD 780,000 or one third of the annual income)
Above GYD 1,560,000 40%
Resident individuals are entitled to a personal allowance of GYD 780,000 or 1/3 of their annual income, whichever is higher.
 
 

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  Guyana Latin America & Caribbean United States Germany
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 35.0 28.2 10.6 9.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 256.0 327.5 175.0 218.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 30.6 46.8 36.6 48.8

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

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Investment Opportunities

Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Inter-American Development Bank, Tenders in South America
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Setting Up a Company
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in Guyana.
Useful Resources
Guyana office for the promotion of investment, GO-Invest
Contact the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in the United Kingdom.
Contact UK Trade & Investment in Guyana.
Contact the Embassy of Guyana in the United Kingdom.
 

Business Setup Procedures

Setting Up a Company Guyana Latin America & Caribbean
Procedures (number) 7.00 8.00
Time (days) 18.00 25.22

Source: Doing Business.

 
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2022

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