Economy overview: Severe drought and political unrest in Guyana led to negative growth of -1.8% in 1998 after six years of growth of 5% or more annually. Growth turned positive again, at 1.8% in 1999 and 3% in 2000. The main drivers of growth are the development of key agricultural and mining industries, a more favorable business environment, a more realistic exchange rate, moderate inflation and continued support from international organizations. President JAGDEO, formerly finance minister, is taking steps to reform the economy, including drafting an investment law and restructuring an inefficient and inflexible public sector. Problems include a lack of skilled labor and an inadequate and poorly maintained transport system. There is also a lack of developed infrastructure. The government needs to make efforts to reduce the significant external debt and attract new investment. See cheeroutdoor.com to know more about Guyana Business.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $3.4 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 3% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $4,800 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 34.7%; industry: 32.5%; services: 32.8% (1998 est.).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: 10% of the poorest households account for: n/a; 10% of the wealthiest families account for: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 5.9% (2000 est.).
Labor force: 245,492 people (1992).
Employment structure: agriculture – no data, industry – no data, services – no data.
Unemployment rate: 12% (1992 est.).
Budget: revenues: $220.1 million; expenses: $286.4 million, including capital investments – $86.6 million (1998).
Economic sectors: bauxite mining, sugar industry, rice crushing and grinding, lumber production, fishing (shrimp fishing), textile industry, gold mining.
Growth in industrial production: 7.1% (1997 est.).
Electricity generation: 455 million kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 98.9%; hydropower: 1.1%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 423.2 million kWh (1999).
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: sugar, rice, wheat, vegetable oils; beef, pork, poultry, dairy products; The potential of forestry and fisheries is far from being fully exploited.
Exports: $570 million (free on board, 2000 est.)
Exports: sugar, gold, bauxite and alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum, timber.
Export partners: US 22%, Canada 22%, UK 18%, Netherlands Antilles 11%, Jamaica (1999).
Imports: $660 million (s.i.f., 2000 est.).
Import articles: manufactured goods, machinery, oil, food.
Import partners: US 29%, Trinidad and Tobago 18%, Netherlands Antilles 16%, UK 7%, Japan (1999).
External debt: $1.1 billion (2000) Economic Assistance Recipient: $84 million (1995), $253 million Indebted Poor Countries Relief Program (1997).
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Guyanese dollar.
Currency code: GYD.
Exchange rate: GYD / USD – 184.1 (November 2000), 182.2 (2000), 178.0 (1999), 150.5 (1998), 142.4 (1997), USA (1996).
Fiscal year: calendar year.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 70,000 (2000).
Mobile cellular telephones: 6,100 (2000).
Telephone system: Fairly good long-distance communication system; internal: microwave radio relay network for trunk lines; international: troposcatter link with Trinidad; satellite earth station 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).
Broadcast stations: AM – 3, FM – 3, shortwave – 1 (1998).
Radio receivers: 420,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 3 (one public station; two private broadcasting programs from US satellites) (1997).
TVs: 46,000 (1997).
Internet country code: gy
Internet Service Providers: 3 (2000).
Number of users: 3,000 (2000).
Transportation Railways: total: 187 km (entirely used for transportation of ore); with standard gauge: 139 km (1.435 m gauge); narrow gauge: 48 km (0.914 m gauge).
Motorways: total: 7,970 km; coated: 590 km; unpaved: 7,380 km (1996 est.).
Waterways: 5,900 km of navigable waterways; the rivers Berbice, Demerara and Essequibo are navigable for ocean-going vessels for 150, 100 and 80 km, respectively.
Ports and harbors: Bartika, Georgetown, Linden, New Amsterdam, Parika.
Merchant fleet: total: 2 vessels (displacement 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 2,929 gross register tons / 4,507 long tons of gross tonnage; different types of ships: cargo ships -2 (est. 2000).
Airports: 51 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 6; from 1524 to 2437 m:3; from 914 to 1523 m:1; less than 914 m: 2 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 45; from 1524 to 2437 m:1; from 914 to 1523 m:8; less than 914 m: 36 (2000 est.).
Branches of the armed forces: Guyana Defense Forces (includes ground forces, coast guards and air units), Guyana People’s Militia, Guyana National Service, Guyana Police.
Total military manpower: men 15 to 49: 204,938 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: males aged 15 to 49: 154,259 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year:
Military spending in dollar terms: $7 million (1994).
Military spending as part of GDP: 1.7% (1994).
International Issues International Disputes: Venezuela lays claim to the entire area west of the Essequibo River; Suriname claims the area between the rivers New (Upper Koranteyn) and Koranteyn/Ku-tari (Koetari), which are the sources of the Koranteyn.
Illicit drugs: transit point for drugs from South America (mainly Venezuela) destined for consumption in Europe and the US; hemp production.