flag Guyana Guyana: Investing

FDI in Figures

According to the UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2023, FDI inflows into Guyana stood at USD 4.4 billion in 2022, in line with the record level recorded one year earlier, making the country the leading destination for FDI in the Caribbean. At the end of the same period, the total stock of FDI increased to an estimated USD 17 billion, representing around 117.6% of the country’s GDP. 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. Moreover, in 2015, ExxonMobil announced the discovery of offshore oil reserves in the Guyana coast, which boosted the flow of FDI in the country. In 2022, the company announced a USD 10 billion investment in a fourth oil production project off the coast of the country. Guyana’s offshore oil development is poised to deliver over 1.2 million bpd by 2027 (from 500,000 in 2023). The longstanding territorial dispute surrounding the Essequibo region escalated into a crisis in 2023. Despite being under Guyana's administration, Venezuela continues to assert its claim over the territory. While this disagreement has historical roots, tensions heightened significantly with the discovery of oil reserves off the coast of Guyana.

Guyana's constitution safeguards the property rights of foreigners within its borders. Both foreign and domestic companies enjoy the freedom to establish and own business ventures and participate in all types of commercial activities, with the exception of certain oil and gas services now safeguarded under the Local Content Act (adopted in 2021). The Investment Act of 2004 further fortifies this protection for investments and stipulates non-discrimination between foreign and domestic investors. In 2022, legislation mandated local content requirements for the oil and gas industry, which now contributes over 50 percent to Guyana's GDP. The nation's export profile heavily relies on natural resources. To foster economic diversification away from oil and gas, the Government of Guyana is providing incentives for investments in sectors like agriculture, business support services, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, and energy, particularly in remote areas. These incentives are administered through the Guyana Office for Investment (GOINVEST). However, administrative processes, including government tendering, are often sluggish and lacking transparency. Some tenders expire and are re-issued due to prolonged decision-making periods, extending up to a year. Numerous businesses highlight several key challenges they face in operating in Guyana, including rising crime rates, exorbitant electricity costs, ambiguous legal interpretations or protracted delays at customs, tax disputes, and difficulties in securing land access. The Government of Guyana operates an investment screening process facilitated by GOINVEST. This entails the preparation of investment agreements by GOINVEST, subsequent review by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), and final approval by the Minister of Finance. The investment agreement is then subject to further approval by the GRA. Additionally, investments tailored to specific industries may require endorsement from the pertinent ministries. The country ranks 87th among the 180 economies on the 2023 Corruption Perception Index and 98th out of 184 countries on the latest Index of Economic Freedom.

 

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 202020212022
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 2,0864,4684,408
FDI Stock (million USD) 8,197.412,665.517,074.0
Number of Greenfield Investments* 7.05.07.0
Value of Greenfield Investments (million USD) 9,01616513,543

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 2024

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