Economy - Government Policy
When he took office in 1985, President Desmond Hoyte said he would accelerate "the pursuit of socialist construction." One year later, however, his government began taking the first steps toward dismantling Guyana's statist economy. Faced with a deep economic crisis--declining production levels and an acute balance of payments shortfall--the government began cutting public spending and encouraging foreign investment. At first it was not clear whether this economic reversal was simply a short-term response to the crisis or a long-term change in political philosophy. But after 1986 the Hoyte government continued to move toward a free-market economy under the guidance of the IMF, despite considerable opposition in the country. By 1990 the nation appeared ready to end its disastrous twenty-year experiment with a closed, governmentcontrolled economy.
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