UPDATE: Minister Ashni Singh won’t be Nexus 2023’s keynoter.
Dr. Singh, who oversees Guyana’s US$3.6 billion nation budget, will be the first sitting government minister from the Nearshore region to keynote Nexus.
“Ashni’s decision to join us at Nexus demonstrates that technology skills development and knowledge-services exports are a deeply important part of Guyana’s vision for economic growth,” says Kirk Laughlin, founder of Nearshore Americas and the Nexus conference.
Guyana has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The country has managed to score double-digit GDP growth numbers since 2020. In 2022, its economy jumped 62.3%.
The country’s economy has been propelled by a petroleum industry that gained international fame for the vast amount of oil sitting in offshore reserves and the enormous wealth being generated. The country’s oil revenue sits at around US$1.6 billion, and its oil production is expected to increase at an average yearly rate of 30% between 2023-26.
The sudden oil boom allowed the launch of several infrastructure projects in the country, including hospitals, hotels, schools, highways, a deep-water port and a US$1.9 billion gas-to-energy project.
Dr. Singh is one of the major proponents within the Guyanese government for economic diversification. He has stated that the country’s authorities plan to use the explosion in oil revenues to propel Guyana’s non-oil economy. This strategy includes the development of what the Ministry of Finance described as a “suitably equipped and skilled workforce in line with the current and future demand for new sets of skills.”
“The transformation Guyana is undergoing is completely unique in the region,” says Laughlin. “You don’t see many moments in the course of a country’s development where the concept of ‘inclusiveness’ is tested to this degree. How Guyana balances its sudden wealth with the goal of accelerating the technology readiness of its workforce is a fascinating process and a topic Ashni will be exploring in depth.”
Singh is currently serving his third term as Guyana’s Minister of Finance. In that capacity, he has represented the country on the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank Group, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank. He also worked at the IMF for five years.