Investment Opportunities exist for investors interested in working with Guyana’s wood industry. These include access to forest concessions for harvesting of logs and non-timber forest products, furniture (e.g. hardwood and wicker), plywood and veneers, mouldings, doors, parquet, floor tiles and dimensional lumber. Additional consideration could be given to the establishment of consolidation “stockyards” at strategic locations where logs/lumber can be stockpiled for further processing and treatment such as kiln drying/preservation from attack by insects/fungi, and export of forest produce. Here, a lucrative investment opportunity also exists for the manufacturing of high end added value forest products for niche markets.
There are also opportunities for investing in the establishment of portable/fixed mills and lumberyards countrywide to support the vibrant local construction industry, as well as
the export market. The various licenses for sawmills, lumberyards, export of forest produce
etc. are all issued by the GFC; the basic requirements are the license fees, proof of legal access to the land and no objections from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and theCentral Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA). There are also a number of opportunities to expand the development and marketing of lesser-known species where utilization is well below capacity or where species are yet to be utilized commercially. Currently, the total Annual Allowable Cut under sustainable management guidelines is approximately 1.6 million m3, but average annual harvest is about 430,000 m3, and consists predominantly of a few traditional species. As such, a tremendous opportunity exists for harvesting logs of the lesser used species and manufacturing of lumber/added value products from these; especially since reputable
Laboratory testing/evaluation has confirmed that some have physical/ mechanical properties similar to the A number of lucrative opportunities traditional species.
Avenues also exist for doing forest consultancies such as ESIA’s, Forest Inventories, Forest Management Plans and Annual Operational Plans, training in specialized areas e.g. sawmilling, saw doctoring, manufacture of added value products from timber and non-timber forest material.
Within this sector, additional value can be achieved on investments that meet the requirements of certain environmental and social certifications from organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Timber Concessions in Guyana
Approximately fifty-two percent (52%) of the State Forest Estate have been allocated to timber harvesting under sustainable forest management techniques to ensure the sustainability
of Guyana’s Forest Resources.
Three types of concessions are awarded based on area size and duration via a transparent, competitive process:
• Timber Sales Agreement (TSA)-granted up to thirty years for areas in excess of 24,000 hectares.
• Wood-Cutting Lease (WCL)-granted for up to ten years for 8,000-24,000 hectares.
• State Forest Permission (SFP)- granted for a two-year period on no more than 8,000 hectares.
Before investors are granted a TSA/WCL for commercial harvesting, they must complete satisfactorily an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), a Forest Inventory,
and a Business Plan within a three (3) year period.
Twice yearly, the GFC publicly advertises areas that are available for allocation as forest concessions.
In addition to the general incentive that Guyana offers investors, this sector attracts special incentives.
• exemption from Customs Duty of a wide range of forestry and sawmilling equipment-skidders, band saws, chain saws, saw blades, etc.
• exemption from customs Duty on a wide range of wood working equipment-lathes, sanders, routers, saws.
• Exemption from duties and taxes for items covered under an Investment Agreement. Supporting Investors Every Step of the Way Investors can receive assistance from a number of Government and private sector organizations involved in the forestry sector. The Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) is the Government agency responsible for the administration and management of the 12.6 million hectares of land classified as State Forest. Moreover, the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) was established in 1994 to stimulate, facilitate, and promote the development of trade and industry, especially the diversification of investment activities in all sectors of the Guyanese economy. It facilitates investment in eight (8) priority sectors, including the Forestry Sector through waivers in duties and taxes for various equipment and machinery. There is also the Forest Products Association (FPA) which represents private timber producers and has substantial practical knowledge of timber production and forest uses. It collaborates with the Guyana Forestry Commission in selected training and research initiatives. In addition, the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association represent the interests of downstream wood products manufacturers. Finally, the Forest Products Development & Marketing Council has as its mandate: to ensure the sustainability of Guyana’s Forest Products industry by increasing the quantity of value-added products and improving its competitiveness to enhance market access and increase trade opportunities.