GUYANA: Sawmillers welcome opportunity to export more logs – But there are concerns

said increased competition will benefit the forestry sector
Sawmillers are excited to grasp at the opportunities that will be created as the Government enacts a new policy that will allow those without concessions to export their logs.

The new policy is covered among a vast list of measures in the emergency budget for 2020 that is designed to stimulate economic growth.

In his declaration on Monday, His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali said the comprehensive budgetary measures are in part intended, “to increase our productive capacity, to reduce the cost of doing business, to improve efficiency and facilitate the growth and development of businesses.”

Jettoo’s Lumberyard and Sawmill and Builder Lumber Yard Company Ltd. are two of the prominent logging companies in Guyana that export logs by virtue of being concessionaires.

Steve Sanichar, the Office Manager at Jettoo’s held that with more sawmillers joining the export market, it is anticipated that there will be a higher quality of logs leaving Guyana.

Over at Builder Lumberyard and Sawmill on Lombard Street, co-owner Avinash Salim expressed his satisfaction with the loosening of concessionaires’ grip on monopoly within the industry.

According to the co-owner, “[the policy] allows more people to get into the industry. It is better for the GFC [Guyana Forestry Commission].”

Note from Guyanese Online…


  • No Value added in the product as sawmilling is done overseas
  • Encourages clear-cutting and indiscriminate clearing of forests.
  • Guyana Government does nor get much in taxes for export of logs. Benefits go to exporters
  • Also smuggling and bribery is common in the industry to facilitate the illegal export of logs

Read this paper  for some recent history on this subject: 

Illegal logging by Asian-owned enterprises in Guyana, South America

By: Guyana-born Janette Bulkan, and John Palmer 

Briefing paper for Forest Trends’ 2nd Potomac Forum on Illegal Logging & Associated Trade, House of Sweden, 901 30th Street NW, Washington D.C…. February 14, 2008

A 2007 policy issued by the State Forestry Administration in Beijing to Chinese companies engaged in overseas afforestation / forest plantations does not yet seem to have influenced Chinese overseas companies which are logging in natural tropical forest.

This paper summarises the persistent forest crimes of Malaysian, Singaporean- and Chinese-owned companies in Guyana,  South America. Although the total timber volumes are small in terms of global trade, the volumes and values are significant for small countries with weak local industries and weaker standards of governance.

READ MORE: Illegal_logging_by_Asian-owned_enterprises in Guyana

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  • brandli62  On 09/23/2020 at 8:38 am

    In my humble opinion, Guyana should only log trees for domestic use. The track record of Chinese and Korean companies operating with Government concessions has been bad and humbling. Typically, they do not adhere to the license conditions, start clear cutting, export more logs of wood than allowed, and cause extensive environmental damage. In short, stop logging for export!

  • Nazir  On 09/23/2020 at 8:52 pm

    This has been going on for years but money has a tendency to blind our leaders.

  • Jo  On 09/24/2020 at 9:41 pm

    There’s an opportunity to restore our wooden city using our own lumber. There is now a fire-retardant paint and wooden buildings are coming into vogue in the architectural world. The lower height of our buildings helps that initiative..we don’t have the populations for skyscrapers. Also the trades would be significantly advanced by adding trade skills for the historic restoration of our architectural style. That would be a local specialty that would make Guyana stand out. Building in concrete could still continue..though it’s more environmentally damaging to use concrete…but I see that many Guyanese architectural features are incorporated into those building as well.

    • brandli62  On 09/25/2020 at 10:37 am

      I completely agree with your views about restoring the traditional wooden buildings in Georgetown’s city centre! If done carefully Georgetown could be transformed into an architectural jewel with the potential of becoming an UNESCO world heritage site. In addition, the restoration efforts would provide much needed employment for the local youth.

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