Guyana is no longer on FATF’s list of aml deficient countries.
FATF Statement re AML Strategic Deficiencies: 21 October 2016
The FATF welcomes Guyana’s significant progress in improving its AML/CFT regime and notes that Guyana has established the legal and regulatory framework to meet its commitments in its action plan regarding the strategic deficiencies that the FATF had identified in October 2014. Guyana is therefore no longer subject to the FATF’s monitoring process under its on-going global AML/CFT compliance process. Guyana will work with CFATF as it continues to address the full range of AML/CFT issues identified in its mutual evaluation report.
CFATF Statement re AML Strategic Deficiencies: 30 May 2014
As a result of not meeting the agreed timelines in its Action Plan, the CFATF recognises Guyana as a jurisdiction with significant AML/CFT deficiencies, which has failed to make significant progress in addressing those deficiencies and the CFATF considers Guyana to be a risk to the international financial system. Members are therefore called upon to implement further counter measures to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Guyana. Also, the CFATF has referred Guyana to the FATF.
Countermeasures could entail, among others, the requirement of enhanced due diligence measures; introducing enhanced reporting mechanisms or systematic reporting of financial transactions; refusing the establishment of subsidiaries or branches or representative offices in the country concerned, or otherwise taking into account the fact that the relevant financial institution is from a country that does not have adequate AML/CFT systems and limiting the business relationships or financial transactions with the identified country or persons in that country.
In November 2011 the CFATF brought to the attention of its Members certain jurisdictions including Guyana with significant strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regime. With a view to encouraging expeditious rectification of the identified strategic deficiencies Guyana and the CFATF developed an Action Plan with identified target dates to address the strategic deficiencies that exist in Guyana’s national architecture to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The CFATF issued a public statement in May 2013 recommending that Guyana took steps to ensure that it addressed its AML/CFT deficiencies. Additionally, in November 2013 CFATF issued a further public statement calling upon its Members to consider implementing counter measures to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Guyana. Guyana has failed to pass the relevant legislation necessary for it to significantly improve its AML/CFT regime and therefore has not substantially addressed the outstanding deficiencies from its mutual evaluation report. The CFATF urges Guyana to urgently, immediately and meaningfully address its AML/CFT deficiencies, in particular by: 1) fully criminalising money laundering and terrorist financing offences, 2) addressing all the requirements on beneficial ownership, 3) strengthening the requirements for suspicious transaction reporting, international co-operation, and the freezing and confiscation of terrorist assets, and 4) fully implementing the UN conventions. Please refer to the 6th follow-up report on Guyana, available at for greater details.
Compliance with FATF Recommendations
The last Mutual Evaluation Report relating to the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards in Guyana was undertaken by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in 2011. According to that Evaluation, Guyana was deemed Compliant for 1 and Largely Compliant for 5 of the FATF 40 + 9 Recommendations. It was Partially Compliant or Non-Compliant for all 6 of the Core Recommendations.
US Department of State Money Laundering assessment (INCSR)
Guyana is categorised by the US State Department as a Country/Jurisdiction of Primary Concern in respect of Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.
Guyana is a transit country for South American cocaine destined for Europe, West Africa, the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. Cocaine is concealed in legitimate commodities and smuggled via commercial maritime vessels, air transport, human couriers, or the postal services.
Guyana’s National Risk Assessment 2017 concluded it has a medium-to-high money laundering risk and a medium terrorist financing threat. Unregulated currency exchange houses and dealers in precious metals and stones pose a risk to Guyana’s AML/CFT system. Other sectoral vulnerabilities include the banking industry and unregulated attorneys-at-law, real estate agents, used car dealers, and charities. Guyana has made significant progress on the AML/CFT front, but more investigations and successful prosecutions are needed in the future.
There are no international sanctions currently in force against this country.
BRIBERY & CORRUPTION
Rating (100-Good / 0-Bad)
Transparency International Corruption Index 41
World Governance Indicator – Control of Corruption 52
The Guyanese economy exhibited moderate economic growth in recent years and is based largely on agriculture and extractive industries. The economy is heavily dependent upon the export of six commodities - sugar, gold, bauxite, shrimp, timber, and rice - which represent nearly 60% of the country's GDP and are highly susceptible to adverse weather conditions and fluctuations in commodity prices. Much of Guyana's growth in recent years has come from a surge in gold production in response to global prices, although downward trends in gold prices may threaten future growth. In 2014, production of sugar dropped to a 24-year low.
Guyana's entrance into the Caricom Single Market and Economy in January 2006 has broadened the country's export market, primarily in the raw materials sector. Guyana has experienced positive growth almost every year over the past decade. Inflation has been kept under control. Recent years have seen the government's stock of debt reduced significantly - with external debt now less than half of what it was in the early 1990s. Despite recent improvements, the government is still juggling a sizable external debt against the urgent need for expanded public investment. In March 2007, the Inter-American Development Bank, Guyana's principal donor, cancelled Guyana's nearly $470 million debt, equivalent to 21% of GDP, which along with other Highly Indebted Poor Country debt forgiveness, brought the debt-to-GDP ratio down from 183% in 2006 to 67% in 2015. Guyana had become heavily indebted as a result of the inward-looking, state-led development model pursued in the 1970s and 1980s.
Chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labour and a deficient infrastructure.
Agriculture - products:
sugarcane, rice, edible oils; beef, pork, poultry; shrimp, fish
bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, textiles, gold mining
Exports - commodities:
sugar, gold, bauxite, alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum, timber
Exports - partners:
US 33.5%, Canada 17.9%, UK 6.7%, Ukraine 4.3%, Jamaica 4% (2015)
Imports - commodities:
manufactures, machinery, petroleum, food
Imports - partners:
US 24.6%, Trinidad and Tobago 24.1%, China 10.8%, Suriname 9.5% (2015)
Investment Climate - US State Department
Guyana is a country located in South America’s North Atlantic coast, bordering Venezuela, Suriname, and Brazil. Guyana has maintained moderate growth and is expected to have 4 percent growth in 2016.
Early general elections were held in May 2015. The A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) coalition won a one-seat majority in the National Assembly, ending 23 years of rule by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C). Preceding the election, the uncertainty slowed investment because implementation of many governmental projects were either put on hold or curtailed until after elections. Upon taking power after more than 20 years of a PPP/C government, APNU+AFC reorganized several ministries, but has had some difficulty making the improvements they promised during the campaign.
The Government of Guyana publicly encourages foreign direct investment (FDI). Guyana offers potential investors – foreign and domestic alike – a broad spectrum of investment choices, ranging from more traditional industries (such as mining, sugar, rice, and timber), to non-traditional export sectors (such as aquaculture, agro-processing, fresh fruits and vegetables, light manufacturing, and value-added forest products), to services exports (such as tourism, call centers, and information technology (IT)-enabled services). Many products receive duty-free or reduced-duty treatment in destination markets. The government continues to encourage foreign investment but with limited success outside of the extractive industries sectors. Perceptions of corruption persist. Transparency International (TI) in its 2015 report on the subject scored Guyana 119 out of 168 ranked economies. Inefficient government, inadequate infrastructure, and crime remain barriers to attracting foreign investment. The government has publicly stated that it is working on changes that will improve its TI ranking.
Guyana continues to benefit from government-to-government development assistance from multiple donors focused on health care, education, climate change adaptation, disaster mitigation, and citizen security. In 2016, the United Kingdom announced significant new assistance for infrastructure development in Guyana to be administered over the next five years through the Caribbean Development Bank. Guyana’s long-term record in attracting private-sector investment, however, remains poor. According to the Bank of Guyana, total FDI inflows decreased by 52.3 percent in 2015 to USD 121.7 million as compared to USD 255.2 million in 2014. In March 2015, ExxonMobil began exploratory drilling off Guyana’s coast, initially investing roughly USD 300 million into the project. According to a study performed by the U.S. Geological Survey, as much as the equivalent of 15 billion barrels of oil are located in the Guyana-Suriname Basin.
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