Guyana Country Statistics

AREA 214,969 square kilometers or 83,000 square miles, about the size of Great Britain.
CLIMATE Guyana is a tropical country. It is hot, humid and moderated by Northeast Trade Winds. There are two rainy seasons - May to mid-August and November to January.
TEMPERATURE The mean temperature is twenty-seven point five (27.5) degrees Celsius and the average temperature ranges from twenty-four (24) to thirty-one (31) degrees Celsius with rainfall of approximately 2,300mm a year in the city.
POPULATION The country's population averages approximately about seven hundred and sixty-seven thousand (767,000).
CAPITAL Georgetown
CURRENCY The official currency of the country is the Guyana Dollar (G$).
TEL/FAX CODE 592 & seven digits
ACCESS Air - the Cheddi Jagan International or Ogle International
Road – from Suriname or Brazil
TIME 4 hours behind GMT

Guyana, full name – Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is the fourth-smallest country in South America after French Guiana, Suriname and Uruguay. It is the only country in the South American continent where English is the official language.

The country has four distinct geographical areas namely the Low Coastal Plain, the Hilly Sand and Clay Belt, the Highland Region and the Interior Savannahs. Approximately 75% of the land area is covered in forest, and 2.5% is cultivated. The most valuable mineral deposits are bauxite, gold, and diamonds. The main rivers are the Demerara, Berbice, Corentyne and Essequibo.

The capital – Georgetown (commonly referred to as the "Garden City"), is unique in that it consists of several shady avenues and walkways. There are dozens of tall trees which outline the streets and parapets creating a "garden" effect.

In addition, there are two Gardens within Georgetown: The Botanic Gardens, which consists of a variety of plant species and animals which can be found throughout the country and the Promenade Gardens, which is known for its beautiful array of flowers and plants of varying descriptions. Overlooking the Promenade Gardens is the Head Office of the Republic Bank (Guyana) Ltd.

Given the fact that Georgetown lies about eight (8) feet below sea level, there is a wall approximately four feet high which runs along the northern boundary of the town. This unique structure was built by the Dutch over a century ago to keep the Atlantic Ocean from eroding the land.

In the heart of Georgetown, you can also find one of the world's tallest wooden buildings - The St George's Cathedral which was officially opened in 1893.

Georgetown also has a very active night- life with numerous clubs around the City.

Guyana, an Amerindian word meaning "land of many waters", is located on the Northern Coast of South America and is geographically linked to the Great Amazon River Basin.

As a result, three quarters of its eighty-three thousand (83,000) square miles is covered with dense tropical rain forest, most of which is located along the upper Mazaruni region, which forms part of the highland regions of the country.

Within this region can be found the majestic Kaieteur Falls, which is one of the world's tallest single drop waterfall. Viewers have expressed disbelief at the remarkable sight. Its estimated height is seven hundred and forty-one (741) feet, then a further drop of eighty-one (81) feet over the great rocks at the bottom.

Guyana's is bordered by Venezuela on the west, Suriname on the east, Brazil on the south and the Atlantic Ocean on the north. Although geographically a part of South America, Guyana has strong cultural and political ties to the Caribbean. The capital Georgetown hosts the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Secretariat.

Guyana’s economy experienced moderate economic growth in previous years based largely on agriculture and the extractive industries comprising mainly bauxite, gold and diamond as well as other mining and quarrying activities. Key agricultural and spin-off manufacturing sectors include sugar cane, rice, forestry and fishing which accounts for about a quarter the gross domestic product (GDP) and employs about one-third of the labor force. Sugar and its by-products and rice account for most of the agricultural exports. Other agriculture activities include coconuts, coffee, other tropical fruits and vegetables. Large areas of rough pasture exist in the interior savannas where a substantial numbers of cattle, pigs, sheep, and chickens are raised.

Sustainable forestry practices lead to the production of logs and primary lumber used mainly in construction and furniture making and as fuel. Fishing is concentrated along the Atlantic coast with major productions of finfish, snapper, tuna and prawns.

ExxonMobil leads a consortium that includes Hess and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and has been involved in oil and gas exploration in Guyana since 2008. Since 2015, the consortium has identified 18 commercially viable discoveries in the Stabroek Block, about 120 miles offshore. Production began in December 2019 and is expected to reach 120,000 barrels of oil per day (b/d) and more than 750,000 b/d by 2026. Recoverable oil is estimated at more than 8 billion barrels. Discovered reserves and subsequent productions are regarded as transformative for the country’s economic prosperity paving the way for exceptional growth activity as the government works on implementing structural reforms in areas such as procurement and financial monitoring to boost competitiveness and improve the business environment in the country in order to take advantage of the opportunities that come with oil exploitation.

In the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 Report, Guyana was ranked 134th out of 190 countries in the ease of doing business with weak scores in key areas such as getting electricity, dealing with construction permits, resolving insolvency and lengthy periods for trading across borders. In addition to structural reforms to improve its economic climate, improvement to its Natural Resource Fund wealth management framework is underway to avoid the natural resource curse.

The services sector contributes more than half towards the country’s non-oil GDP with Tourism certified to be the second largest export sector in Guyana after gold. The ITB global travel trade fair in Berlin, Germany bestowed Guyana the #1 Best Eco-Tourism Award in 2019 with vast forest, tropical savannahs and record high waterfalls attracting nature enthusiasts from around the world. To protect this resource and foster economic activity, Guyana entered into a carbon credit scheme with Norway, with the country receiving millions of dollars, to offset Norway’s carbon use. In return, Guyana has to guarantee the preservation of its forest, preventing illegal deforestation and mining activity.

In addition to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges for Guyana’s economy are its reliance on natural resources (gold, bauxite, sugar, rice, wood and, above all, oil) subject to price volatility and weather-related extremes, incomplete infrastructure in transport, education and health, a low-skilled local labour force and large-scale emigration of its educated workers, territorial dispute with Venezuela, reliance on international creditors and high crime rate linked to drug trafficking against a background of poverty and corruption.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and plummeting world commodity prices, Guyana will be one of the few economies to experience exponential GDP growth. Non-oil GDP is expected to contract in minor way based on fiscal policies supporting expansion across all the country’s major sectors. Construction is set to be boosted by substantial private and public investment in infrastructure projects related to oil activity including roads, telecommunications and electrical installations. Non-oil GDP decline is anticipated to be cushioned by agricultural (high-yielding variety of rice), fishing (shrimp) and mining (gold and bauxite) activities, whose production is largely export-oriented. Sugar production is expected to continue to decline but return to high levels based on sugar factory re-openings. Mining production is also expected to increase (particularly gold) on the back of significant credit and road network development with attractive prospects remaining for investors in hydroelectric power, mining and agriculture, abundant offshore oil and gas reserves and Guyana’s membership to the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM).

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