Guyana - Industry

Industry is limited chiefly to processing gold, bauxite, sugar, and rice for export and food and beverages for the local market. Gourmet food processing is increasingly gaining in importance, including the production of certain jams, jellies, sauces, spices, and fruit purees. Manufacturing accounted for about 11% of GDP in 1998, when output decreased by 8.9% over the previous year. Industry as a whole accounted for 32% of GDP in 2000.

In 1993 the government announced a policy move toward total privatization, joint ventures, public share offers, employee and management buyouts, and leased management contracts. The government has been following a serious program of privatization of key state enterprises, such as the telephone utility—80% of which is now owned by the U.S. Virgin Islands firm Atlantic Telenetwork. In 1996, a number of companies were offered for privatization, including the state-owned Guyana Electricity Corporation (GEC), Guyana Airways Corporation, the Linmine and Bermine bauxite mines, Guyana National Printers, Guyana Stores, the Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation, Versailles Dairy Complex, and the Wauna Oil Palm Estate. The GEC was privatized in 1999. The government continues its hold on the state monopoly Guyana Sugar Corporation (Guysuco). Following privatization of the government-owned rice mills and the transfer of rice transactions to the common market for foreign currency, the rice industry recovered and its production increased. In 1999, rice output increased 7.6% and sugar production increased 25.8% over 1998. Due to the fact that much development of infrastructure is needed, the construction sector was due to realize significant growth in the early 2000s. In 2002, breakfast cereals manufactured through the processing of rice were seen as potential exports.

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