Guyana Market Entry
|Religion||25% Hindu, 23% Protestant, 21% Other Christian, 7% Roman Catholic|
|State system||Cooperative Republic|
|Head of State||Irfaan Ali|
|Head of government||Mark Phillips|
|Currency name||Guyanese dollar (GYD)|
|Time shift||– 5 hours relative to CET (-6 in summer)|
|Nominal GDP (billion USD)||13.5|
|Economic growth (%)||18.5|
According to cheeroutdoor.com, Guyana is one of the poorest countries in the Americas. Official up-to-date statistical data are often not available and their reliability can be doubted in some cases. It is located on the northern coast of South America, neighboring countries are Venezuela, Suriname and Brazil. Under the name British Guiana, the country was an overseas colony of Great Britain until 1966. It became a republic in 1970, but has remained part of the Commonwealth to this day. Guyana is the only country in South America where English is the official language, but most of the population uses Guyanese Creole in everyday communication.
According to the 2021 Economic Freedom Index, Guyana is ranked 116th in the world in terms of trade freedom.
In 2021, Guyana was in 164th place in the order of recipients of Czech exports and in 125th place as an exporter to the Czech Republic. From the point of view of foreign trade, this is an insignificant session.
The government has started work on the preparation of a legal framework for future mining activity and related industries. One of the related projects in the pipeline is the creation of a comprehensive oilfield service center on Crab Island, in the Berbice Estuary (about 100 km from Georgetown) worth US$500 million. The attractiveness of this area is rapidly increasing, and in addition to the dominant ExxonMobil, other multinational companies (CGX Energy, Repsol, etc.) have shown interest in mining rights.
Government policy The main priorities of the government of President Irfaan Ali include restarting the economy affected by anti-pandemic measures, attracting new investments from abroad, improving the competitiveness of the Guyanese economy through diversification, implementing green technologies and protecting the environment. According to the latest public opinion polls, the government enjoys the trust of the majority of the population, and the management of the crisis in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic, investment in education and social programs, which include concessions on fees for water and electricity supplies, increases in old-age pensions or government affordable housing program. Legal and Operational Risks The latest edition of The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom reports deterioration in law enforcement and transparency of government spending. The legal order in the area of property rights is bureaucratic and confusing and burdened with non-transparent procedures. Law enforcement is also quite slow. The law is not applied equally and the level of trust in the legal system is low.
This Summary Territorial Information is processed for a country that is so-called accredited. The information is provided in an abbreviated form.
Basic conditions for the use of Czech goods on the market
- Market entry
- Forms and conditions of operation on the market
- Marketing and Communications
- Issues of intellectual property protection
- Public procurement market
- Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
- Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
- Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
- Fairs and events
Guyana law provides equal treatment for domestic and foreign companies.
Specific conditions for registering a business arise in different cases – if it is a single owner, a partnership in a small business or a joint-stock company.
Company registration is done at the Commercial Register, The Deeds Registry in Georgetown and the Registrar of Companies. In order to register a company, the Articles of Association, an affidavit by a legal representative that none of the participants are under the age of 18, the appointment of directors and secretary including their consent and a notice of registration of the registered office of the company must be submitted.
Foreign companies must submit an extract from the commercial register of the country of origin. Registration fees are calculated from the amount of share capital. Any changes to the company’s statutes, directors’ names, changes in shareholding, etc. must be reported to The Deeds Registry.
The incorporation of a company in Guyana must by law be done exclusively by a local law firm, whose duty it is to oversee the company’s accounting system and the selection of management personnel.
Forms and conditions of operation on the market
Given the small size of Guyana’s market, local agents and distributors are generally preferred.
Few Guyanese businessmen travel abroad.
The market is very much oriented towards American and Brazilian goods, purchases of consumer goods by wholesalers are very often concentrated on cheaper “second-hand” goods. Such products are then sold through an unregulated network of small traders and street kiosks. This practice greatly undermines the rights of authorized exclusive distributors.
Czech exports are realized mainly on the basis of one-off orders from local partners.
Marketing and communication
There is no usual direct marketing in the country.
Lack of sophisticated market data slows down prospecting.
The number of franchise companies is growing, especially in fast food.
Guyana is the only English speaking country in South America, therefore all promotion and advertising using HSP must be conducted in English.
Advertisements and promotions are most featured in local newspapers and on local radio and television stations. The largest periodicals are: Guyana Chronicle (government newspaper) Kaieteur News (independent newspaper) Stabroek News (independent newspaper) Radio broadcasting is operated by the state-owned National Communication Network and on government and private television stations Channel 11, STVS Channel 4, etc.
In any communication, it is necessary to carefully consider the risks arising from the diverse ethnic and religious composition of the population. It is highly recommended to discuss everything with your local representative.
Issues of intellectual property protection
Protection of intellectual property rights in Guyana is inadequate.
Trademarks and logos of foreign manufacturers are commonly used by local companies without the possibility of effective protection of intellectual property rights.
Public procurement market
Government public contracts are generally announced through public tenders.
A number of ministries have established so-called Project Execution Units (PEUs) for the implementation of their projects.
Projects of significant volume are under the jurisdiction of the Central Tender Board. International donor methodology and practice are applied to some projects.
Invitations to participate in government tenders are usually published in the press, but usually with too short a deadline for submitting bids.
The role of the government in the domestic economy is large, the majority of public sector projects are financed by international agencies.
Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
Guyana is a signatory to the Convention of the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States.
International arbitration awards are enforceable under the Arbitration Act of 1931. Guyana is also a member of the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Most of the ongoing business disputes in Guyana are in the areas of taxation, access to licenses and violations of the necessary approval process for establishing companies and doing business in Guyana.
To resolve commercial disputes arising from customer-supplier relationships, it is necessary to use the services of a specialized local law firm. In the first stage, conciliation between the two parties is common. If the partners do not agree, a solution is sought by court-appointed arbitrators.
In the past, Guyana’s judicial system has often been criticized for lengthy trials, corrupt practices and unfair decision-making. The investment must be well secured by a higher form of guarantee, namely a bank guarantee or a bank guarantee with reservation of ownership until full payment, or with a lien on the delivered goods. The most common payment term is an irrevocable confirmed letter of credit.
Deliveries on credit are not very common and sought after in Guyana, or they are rather exceptional and are applied to the supply of machines and machinery. The payment method corresponds to the customs of the territory of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is necessary to pay attention to the appropriate selection and quality of the partner, his creditworthiness and position on the market.
Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic recommends that Czech citizens check with the embassy of the country they are visiting before traveling whether the conditions for entry and stay have not changed.
To enter the country, a citizen of the Czech Republic needs a valid passport and an entry visa. The tourist visa is a one-time visa valid for up to 3 months, its possible extension is requested in the country. A Czech citizen can also obtain a visa for business purposes (for one entry or multiple entries valid for up to 2 years).
For information on the requirements and other conditions of the procedure when applying for a visa or residence permit, contact the Embassy of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana in London.
To drive a motor vehicle, it is recommended to have a valid international driver’s license issued, or a national driver’s license of the Czech Republic will suffice, on the basis of which you can apply for a local driver’s license at the License and Revenue Office in Georgetown. In Guyana, you drive on the left. The use of seat belts is mandatory and non-observance is fined. The cross-country drive to Brazil is passable only for powerful off-road vehicles, and only for part of the year.
The capital city of Georgetown has a fairly high crime rate. The interior of Guyana is safe (apart from the mining towns in the southwest of the country). In the capital, it is possible to encounter shootouts, armed robberies and carjackings. Special care needs to be taken on the east bank of the Demerara River (near the villages of Buxton, Friendship and Annandale) along the Temehri to Linden highway. Avoid traveling at night and always travel in a group if possible. Northern Guyana’s coast is below sea level, with extensive flooding occurring in the months of December/January and May/June.
Foreign tourists are seen as wealthy individuals, and are frequent targets of local crime. Walking around the capital is not recommended, and certainly not after dark. It is also not appropriate to wear provocative clothing, valuables or jewelry. When transporting, avoid minibuses due to their frequent breakdowns and accidents. It is recommended to use a taxi service, but beware of unregistered taxis.
In Georgetown, Stabroek Market and the Tiger Bay area should be avoided for safety reasons. Be careful around the Cathedral of St. George’s Cathedral.
There are long-standing border disputes with Venezuela and Suriname. This information should be kept in mind when moving in border zones. When traveling by land from Suriname, it is necessary to use official ferries when crossing the border river Corentyne. Using water taxis can result in arrest and deportation for immigration violations. There is no land border crossing into Venezuela.
The possibility of using payment cards is very limited in the country, it is possible to pay with them mostly only in large hotels. Only the Bank of Nova Scotia allows credit card withdrawals, so sufficient cash is required. The most widely exchanged currency is USD, it is necessary to have small change. Exchange is allowed in selected banks, exchange offices and tourist facilities. In most cases, you can also pay in USD in cash.
Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
Foreign investors have the same conditions for their business activities in all sectors of the business sphere, and therefore also in the employment of foreigners and local forces. It is only necessary to ensure that the number of foreigners in the company does not exceed 20% of all employees, separately for company management and employees.
Further information can be obtained from The Guyana Office for Investment website (http://goinvest.gov.gy).
For information on the requirements and other conditions of the procedure when applying for a visa or residence permit for the purpose of employment, contact the Embassy of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana in London.
Fairs and events