Govt’s policy formulation continues to support transformative agenda – President Ali

-Underscores importance of US as strategic partner for Guyana and the Caribbean

His Excellency President Irfaan Ali said Guyana’s strategic approach to policy formulation has created the resilience and strength needed to guide the country through various developmental phases.

The Head of State made the statement while engaging in a discussion held at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington DC. The discourse was moderated by Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon Jr, the incoming Co-Chair of the Brazil Institute Advisory Council and the Senior International Policy Advisor at Arnold &Porter.

“What this speaks to is policymaking, and we don’t give enough credit to the type of leadership, policy formulation and strategic type of work that was done to bring Guyana from the second-poorest country in the hemisphere to a position where we were the leading country in many areas, our housing programme became a study for the IDB, our economic model was one that speaks to sustainability.”

The President emphasised that the country has consistently demonstrated “good capability in policy formulation to navigate and manage through different phases of development”. This, he said, will be amplified given the type of revenue the country is set to earn from its oil and gas sector.

The objectives, he noted, are stability and strategic development that focuses on developing the infrastructure of the country and on building the country and economy in a multifaceted way while providing prosperity for its citizens.

IMPORTANT US RELATIONSHIP

He explained that the country could not have done this alone and that one of its most important bilateral partners is the United States of America. The USA, the President said, is an important partner to Guyana and the Caribbean region not only from a developmental perspective but from a societal perspective—where the two countries are connected culturally.

“There is no other connection that is greater than people-to-people connection, and you are home to the largest diaspora of Guyana, and we sometimes miss this point. We are not only connected through policymaking, through foreign policy, through economic connection, through private sector connection. We are connected through people. Our culture was brought here in the United States and now forms an important part of national life in the US.”

The Head of State underscored that when countries are connected through the strong bonds of people, it is important that they work closely together.

 “Many people would look at this relationship and say maybe because of oil and gas, the US now is very much interested because of the private sector interests, but we don’t see it that way. We have always had a strong relationship with the US.”

GLOBAL POLICY

The Head of State also spoke about the need for innovative policymaking decisions considering the prevailing global environment.

“We, for example, are not only importing all the inflation that is happening globally, we are faced with a serious shipping issue, not only Guyana—the region. We are faced with input issues, fertiliser, the cost of fuel, and you have to create policy in this environment that people understand, and that also reflects the needs of people in the country.”

The President added that all of these factors have graduated policy making from a national perspective to a global one.

President Ali also lauded the recently concluded Organisation of American States (OAS) Summit in Los Angeles and the commitment of the leaders that attended.

“The President of the United States and the Vice President and leading secretaries were there throughout the summit. The level of engagement was second to none, and for CARICOM, we had a very strategic and rewarding meeting with the leadership of the United States, including President Biden.”

During the discourse, President Ali reminded about Guyana’s leading role in fighting climate change and noted that the country’s development agenda is guided by its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

“So the Low Carbon Development Strategy now as it is, 2030, is the overarching development strategy that will ensure we develop our country in a sustainable way, in a way that ensures the economy is resilient to different shocks, in a way that promotes equitable development, in a way that speaks to the transformative agenda of the Government where we are focusing on, how we will achieve human resource transformation, how we’ll build a mechanism in the education sector, the health sector, the housing sector, all the social sectors to support the infrastructure and economic transformation that will take place.”

Following the discourse, President Ali met with Ambassador Mark Green, President, Director, and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars.

The Head of State was accompanied by Vice President, the Honourable Dr Bharrat Jagdeo; the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Honourable Hugh Todd and Guyana’s Ambassador to the United States of America, H.E Samuel Hinds.

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