The Guyana economy grew by 2.8 per cent during the first six months of this year, Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh has said.
"This growth reflects continued progress on the diversification of the productive sector where we have now arrived at a point where we are no longer as we were 10 years ago, entirely dependent on one, two or three dominant sectors," said Singh in a review of the country's mid-year performance.
He said there had been significant strides in diversifying the economy resulting in the 2.8 per cent growth, notwithstanding the contraction in sugar production.
"Given the significance of sugar and the volatility of sugar production in recent years, we have been computing a non-sugar GDP and ... this non-sugar GDP actually grew by 6.2 per cent in the first half of the year," the finance minister said.
Singh said that total export earnings grew by 9.2 per cent totalling US$592.1 million. He said the gold industry also contributed to the economic growth with production increasing by 13.2 per cent to 184,929 ounces.
The export earnings from gold amounted to US$268 million, an increase of 16.8 per cent over the corresponding period in 2011.
"This is supported by continued strong economic prices but in addition supported by a favourable and attractively strong policy environment, that promotes and encourages investment in the sector and one that has seen continued investment in productive capacity in the gold industry," said Singh.
In addition, the bauxite sector recorded an increase of 41.9 per cent, earning US$79.4 million, and production in the rice industry production expanded by 1.4 per cent to 210,395 tonnes, earning US$84.6 million.
"This of course is an extremely positive encouraging development. We have worked hard to attract overseas investment in the bauxite sector É we now have BOSAI and RUSAL as international investors, who we were able to attract in Guyana because of the work that we have done to make Guyana a place where international investors would want to come and do business," Singh said.
He said that foreign direct investment amounted to US$167.2 million.