Since the late 1990s the government has divested itself of many industries,
but it now faces problems which include environmental threats to the coastal
strip and rainforest, poverty and violent crime – the latter fuelled by the
The sugar industry – a key source of foreign exchange and Guyana’s main
employer – has been hit by the loss of preferential access to EU markets and a
cut in European sugar subsidies.
Many Guyanese seek their fortunes outside the country; the exodus of skilled
migrants is among the highest in the region.