Guyana, China sign two agreements
– advance work plan under Belt and Road initiative
DPI, Guyana, Saturday, September 22, 2018
Guyana signed two agreements with China that will see the upgrading of education and health networks and the provision of funding for the Public Service College.
Today, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge hosted China’s State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi and his delegation at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).
There, the two Foreign Affairs Ministers signed “the “Framework Agreement Provision of a Concessional Loan between the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the Government of the People’s Republic of China” and “The Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and Government of the People’s Republic of China”.
Minister Greenidge noted the Framework Agreement will see the implementation of the Guyana National Broadband Project.
“This project will see the upgrading of the network to enable an equitable delivery of service in the education, health, security, business and other sectors,” Minister Greenidge explained.
The economic agreement will fund several projects, including the Public Service College, Minister Greenidge added.
He also received China’s contribution to support the hosting of the Seventeenth Session of the Committee for the Review and Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 17) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), scheduled to take place early next year in Georgetown.
“I believe that it is the first occasion on which the Government of China has contributed cash to this very important undertaking,” Minister Greenidge pointed out.
Advancing the Belt and Road Action Plan
Before the signing of the agreements, the two ministers held bilateral talks to advance the Belt and Road Initiative, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation which was signed two months ago.
“We discussed how the two countries will move forward with the cooperation areas identified under the MOU, in order to extract practical benefits for our countries and peoples,” Minister Greenidge said.
He noted that his ministry has commenced discussions with other agencies to assess needs and identify priority areas to benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative.
“We are committed to utilising this new framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as existing bilateral mechanisms, to channel support to critical sectors, namely infrastructure, agriculture, renewable energy, health and ICT inter alia, in order to bring direct benefits to our citizens,” the minister said.
Minister Yi said the two countries are working closely to develop an action plan to guide the implementation of the MOU. “China will continue to do what it can to support and assist Guyana, our old friend, in its development,” Minister Yi indicated through translator.
Meanwhile, the bilateral talks also focused on Guyana’s role in building stronger diplomatic ties between China and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Minister Yi noted Guyana is an important member of CARICOM and expressed the hope that Guyana can play an enhanced and constructive role for enhanced cooperation between China and CARICOM.
Guyana is the first English speaking Caribbean country to enter diplomatic ties with China, Minister Yi pointed out. He added China will continue to speak up for the legitimate rights and interests of Guyana on international stages.
Minister Yi and his delegation paid a courtesy call on President David Granger as well as the CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque and other members at the Secretariat. The Chinese high-level delegation is expected to depart Guyana later today.
Images: Keno George