Guyana is a developing country where the economy is heavily dependent on exports of bauxite, gold and agricultural products such as sugar and rice.
The country has experienced significant economic growth as a result of the economic reform program launched in 1989. Reforms were initiated in collaboration with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), reducing the government’s role in the economy, encouraging foreign investment, paying down debt and privatization of state enterprises. The government which took over in 1992 had intentions of following up the reform program, but has unsuccessfully tried to privatize the bauxite plants and sugar plantations.
Agriculture employs approx. 20% of the working population, accounting for 36% of GDP. Only 2.5% of the land area is cultivated, and almost all of this area is located in the coastal lowlands.
Sugarcane, which is the most important export growth, is grown on large plantations. After sugar, rice is the most important export growth, and production has risen sharply since 1990. citrus fruits, cocoa, coconuts and coffee. There are large grazing areas on the Rupununi savannah south of the country, but the cattle herd is limited by lack of communication with the rest of the country. Even the very large forest resources have so far only been utilized to a modest extent due to. difficult transport conditions. The fishing industry has been developed with foreign aid. catch of shrimp.
Guyana’s foremost mineral resource has traditionally been bauxite. The main mining areas are around Linden, 105 km up the Demerara River, and near Kwakwani, 160 km up the Berbice River. Production has dropped significantly since the early 1970s, both due to falling prices in the world market and due to. fierce competition from other countries, such as China. In 1971, the largest mining company (Alcan) was nationalized and the entire bauxite industry has been under state control since 1975 and operated by the state company Guymine.
Gold production has increased significantly since 1986, including as a result of the government introducing higher wages to the miners, to prevent smuggling of gold out of the country. In 1993, a new gold mine opened in the Omai district, and in less than ten years Guyana quadrupled gold production.
There are also deposits of diamonds, and these mines have had a positive impact on the country’s economy in recent years.
In 2014, the production of electrical energy was 800 GWh. Per capita consumption was 1,028 kWh. The country has large untapped hydropower resources.
Apart from mining operations (extraction of bauxite, gold and diamonds), the industry is otherwise based on the processing and processing of raw materials from the primary industries. Rum, molasses, beer, canned fruit, shrimp, rice, refined sugar and cigarettes together account for most of industrial production. Other industries include manufacture of textiles and clothing for the domestic market.
In the 1990s, Guyana’s trade balance with foreign countries improved significantly compared to the 1980s, when the country had large deficits in its foreign trade.
- COUNTRYAAH: Find major trading partners of Guyana, including major exports and major imports with latest trade value and market share as well as growth rate.
Guyana’s most valuable export commodity has traditionally been bauxite, and in 1994, bauxite accounted for 14% of the country’s total exports. Declining prices of bauxite in the international market have contributed to a strong investment in gold production for export. In 2002, gold accounted for 28% of the country’s total exports. In recent years, rice has grown in importance as an export commodity, and in the same year accounted for 10% of the country’s total exports. In terms of volume, sugar is the largest export product (about 30%). Imports include: petroleum products, consumables, foods, machinery and transport equipment. The United States is an important trading partner and accounts for approx. 1/4 of both exports and imports; other important trading partners are CARICOM (the Caribbean common market), Canada, the United Kingdom and Venezuela.
Transport and Communications
The road network is well developed in the coastal areas, and the road standard is good. In the inland areas the communication network is relatively poorly developed, but funds have been allocated to improve the road connection between the mining town of Linden and the capital Georgetown.
- According to AllCityPopulation, the capital city of Guyana is Georgetown with a population of 118,000 (2012 Census). Other major cities include Linden, New Amsterdam.
Guyana’s main port cities are Georgetown and New Amsterdam. There is a ferry connection between Guyana and Suriname. The inland rivers are navigable for small vessels, while the Demerara River is open to seagoing vessels as far as Linden. The railways are used exclusively for the transport of ore and goods between the coast and the mining areas.
Georgetown has an international airport (Timehri), and there are smaller airports in many places on the coast and inland. A state airline is responsible for both foreign and domestic air services.