…states need for entrepreneurial skills to be revisedAlthough there have been concerns over whether local companies would be able to tap into the benefits of the emerging oil and gas industry in Guyana, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) has claimed that while there might not be much locally available technical capacity and expertise, there are avenues in which local companies could offer services to this new industry.PSC Chairman Eddie Boyer said that local entrepreneurs must understand thatPSC Chairman Eddie Boyerthere was no substitute for what was required. As such, he said companies must develop the skill to understand what was required and adopt best practices to this new industry, if they were really going to benefit.While Boyer acknowledged the fact that there might be competition from neighbouring Trinidad, which is an oil and gas producer, he said given the expertise and knowledge available to local businesses, everyone could and would enjoy the fruits of the new world that was about to open up.“We need to learn about this industry as much as we can, in the little time that we have, to keep our engine of growth purring. As a caution though, we should not invest blindly because of promises of prosperity but exercise due diligence and assess the investment risks,” he cautioned while addressing an oil and gas seminar held on Tuesday at Duke Lodge.The PSC Head said a lot has already been said about the sector, and while there were certain pros and cons, within it all there were mammoth opportunities for Guyanese as a whole. He, therefore, said that it was the duty of the PSC to ensure that members were aware of these opportunities. He said, “I do not believe that we are lacking in opportunities to capitalise in this emerging industry, nor do we need to start from scratch. There are many sources of expertise out there, and just as we invest to expand our businesses, we need to become more informed on this industry, we have to get critical information so that we can make better business decisions.”Further, Boyer stressed the need for entrepreneurial skills to be revised and addressed, because he said Guyana was too accustomed to doing business in a singular manner when an industry as large and as diverse as oil and gas would require a retooling of our energies.“We need to learn from countries that have been exposed to oil and gas and understand that there is a need for acquiring the expertise required to be competitive and successful. There is the Local Content Policy and we need to make as much use of this as possible,” he added.The PSC official suggested that partnerships should be developed to collaborate with different skills sets, and to get up to speed with the skills sets that may be lacking. While noting that oil and gas operations were capital intensive and hence, out of reach for most of us financially as individuals, Boyer said collectively and through joint ventures with local and international companies, everyone could benefit tremendously.“We need to master the technologies, and understand that if we are going to succeed, we must open our vision and grasp at the numerous opportunities which are available…The Local Content Policy, which we have heard so much about, must be beneficial to both parties, the suppliers of goods and services and the recipient of goods and services,” he added.This seminar on Tuesday brought together the experience of an oil and gas expert, Cuneyt Tirmandi, a consultant of the Canadian Executive Service Organisation (CESO), with worldwide working experience, with many other notable oil and gas-related officials.With presentations from ExxonMobil and the Centre for Local Business Development, participants were informed of current operations, developments and plans for Guyana and also briefed on opportunities for the local Private Sector.To complement these presentations, the Natural Resources Ministry also made a presentation on “Opportunities for the Private Sector and the Role of the Private Sector in Securing and Maximising Local Content” with discussions centred on perspectives, concerns, and interest.