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Important progress has been made in Guyana in recent years in managing the process of adjustment to the new world economic environment through exercise of monetary discipline, improvements in the environment for private investment, reform of the tax system, creation of a property market, investing in basic education and infrastructure, and boosting productivity in traditional sectors of the economy. But important and pressing challenges still remain to be tackled. At the forefront is achieving the economic imperative of improving national competitiveness and diversifying the economy.
Whilst economic diversification has long been and remains a major aspiration of Guyana’s policymakers, as a country we have historically been highly dependent on the exports of only a handful of natural resource commodities. This continues today with sugar, gold, rice, shrimp, timber and bauxite accounting for 86 % of exports (and 69% of GDP).