Guyana is a tiny South American country with a population smaller than Gurgaon's and area slightly larger than Gujarat's. It is dwarfed by neighbouring giants Brazil and Venezuela, and its GDP is ranked 154th in a 185-country list.
And yet, suddenly, people are excited about Guyana. Why? Because it is projected to become the fastest-growing country in the world next year. Its GDP is expected to more than triple in the next five years. And the IMF predicts growth - which was 4.4% this year - to increase to a whopping 86%.
Black Gold: The reason behind this miracle growth rate? One word - oil. In 2015, offshore oil deposits were discovered, Exxon Mobil entered the scenario, and now oil production is scheduled to begin in the next few months.
Hold Your Horses: While an 86% growth rate seems unreal and covetous, it must be viewed keeping in mind the very low base. Guyana's present annual GDP is c. $4bn. Even if the IMF's projected rates hold true, Guyana's economy would be worth only about $15bn by 2024. While an economy - and thus economic growth - of such a size can hardly be compared to major ones like the US, China, India etc., the jump in revenue will no doubt go a long way in helping Guyana fund social welfare and development projects.
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