Guyana

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The Co-operative Republic of Guyana is a nation of northeastern South America. Guyana achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1966 and became a republic in 1970. In 1989 Guyana launched an Economic Recovery Program, which marked a dramatic reversal from a state-controlled, socialist economy towards a more open, free market system. Results through the first decade have proven encouraging.

Severe drought and political turmoil contributed to Guyana's negative growth of -1.8% for 1998 following six straight years of growth of 5% or better. Growth came back to a positive 1.8% in 1999. Underlying growth factors have included expansion in the key agricultural and mining sectors, a more favorable atmosphere for business initiative, a more realistic exchange rate, a moderate inflation rate, and continued support by international organizations. President Bharatt Jagdeo, the former finance minister, is taking steps to reform the economy, including drafting an investment code and restructuring the inefficient and unresponsive public sector. Problems include a shortage of skilled labor and an inadequate and poorly maintained transportation system, as well as a shortage of electricity.

The capital is Georgetown.

From the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the U.S. Department of State website. Not Wikified.