Guyana, despite significant efforts to improve the efficiency of the economic structure in the 1990s, which brought positive results (in terms of economic growth, Guyana was ahead of all Latin American countries, with the exception of Chile, and in terms of GDP per capita growth was the leader of the entire region), remains in the group of the least developed countries in Latin America, experiencing an acute shortage of highly qualified specialists and feeling the underdevelopment of infrastructure.
According to businesscarriers, Guyana’s GDP in 2000 was $578 million, per capita $760.5. At the same time, GDP growth rates in 2002 and 2003 were 1.5 and 1%, respectively, and GDP per capita increased in these years by 1.1 and 0.7%. Unemployment, according to official data, was 9.1% (2000), and the average annual inflation in recent years was 5-6%. The structure of Guyana’s GDP reflects the agrarian-raw material orientation of economic development: agriculture accounted for 36% of GDP, industry – 32%, services – 32%. Moreover, the share of the service sector is increasing in the structure of employment compared to other areas due to the unstable world market conditions for the main export commodities of Guyana – bauxite and agricultural products – sugar and rice. Agriculture and mining are the backbone of the Guyanese economy. In industry, the dominant position is occupied by the extraction of bauxite – 2.4 million tons (2000), providing up to 20% of foreign exchange earnings, as well as gold, diamonds, manganese. The manufacturing industry is underdeveloped, its main industries are the production of sugar, the processing of other types of agricultural raw materials, the production of rum, and furniture. The power industry is dominated by thermal power plants, despite the colossal hydro potential of the country. Electricity generation was 830 million kWh in 2000. In agriculture, only approx. 2.5% (537.7 thousand hectares) of the total land area. The main agricultural crops are sugar cane, rice (540 thousand tons, 2000), bananas, citrus fruits. Guyana has been implementing major economic reforms since 1988, manifesting itself in the privatization of state-owned enterprises, the reduction of government intervention, the promotion of private investment, the strengthening of financial discipline and legal regulation, the improvement of the education system and the increase in social spending. As a result, in the 1990s managed to bring down inflation from more than 80 to 6%, sharply reduce the state budget deficit, reduce poverty, covering up to 1/3 of the population, slightly improve macrosocial indicators of development. In particular, in 2003 Guyana began to take 92nd place in the Human Development Index, having increased its ranking by several steps. With the support of the World Bank and the IMF in Guyana, to reduce its unsustainable debt burden, it was possible to apply a scheme for writing off part of the debts of the least developed countries of the world, which made it possible to make the debt burden acceptable for the country’s economy. If in 1993 the debt of Guyana was equal to 2.06 billion US dollars, then in 2003 it was only 1.3 billion. The domestic debt in December 2002 was 53.8 billion Guyanese dollars. 563 million dollars. The main export items are bauxite, alumina, raw sugar, rice, gold, rum, timber, shrimp. Imports are dominated by manufactured goods, equipment, oil, food. Leading trading partners: USA, Canada, Great Britain, countries of the Caribbean Community. The volume of foreign direct investment is 67.1 million US dollars (2000).
The length of roads is about 8 thousand km, with a hard surface – only 590 km. The length of the railways is 187 km, all of them are intended for the transportation of ore. The number of airfields is 51, of which 8 are paved (3 international airports). The number of telephone lines – 70 thousand (2000), and mobile communication lines – 6.1 thousand, 3 television stations (one is state-owned), the number of television receivers – 46 thousand, radio – 420 thousand, the number of Internet users – 95 thousand (2002).