Guyana, US strengthen cooperation
─ President Ali welcomes agreements
Diplomatic relations between Guyana and the United States (US) have been strengthened with the signing of two bilateral co-operation agreements to suppress illicit traffic by sea and air and to boost economic collaboration between the countries.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, the Hon. Hugh Todd and US Secretary of State, Mr. Michael Pompeo today signed the Shiprider Agreement and the MoU for the Growth in the Americas Initiative in the Baridi Benab at State House.
His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, welcomed the Americas Initiative saying that it would catalyse investment.
“This agreement will stimulate the enhancement of the business environment for US private sector investment in Guyana, particularly in the fields of energy. The agreement will also pave the way for US private sector to expand its investment portfolio and partner with local private sector entities,” President Ali said.
The partnership will help the country meet its broader infrastructure and downstream development needs and by extension, drive economic growth and development, the President explained.
Meanwhile, Secretary Pompeo said the agreement demonstrates that the US wants “to model the private sector, not state-owned enterprises because that model will deliver real good things for the people.”
“There is lots of conversation about more foreign direct investment, the United States model is to bring out the best things about your country, and we don’t do so with political strings tied to them or engaged in activities that are corrupt,” Mr. Pompeo added.
The Shiprider Agreement will enable joint maritime and airspace patrols to interdict narcotics. It will provide mechanisms to streamline communications between law enforcement officials of Guyana and the US to conduct operations at sea and expedite overflight clearances for law enforcement aircraft when combating drug trafficking.
It was noted that operations would not be carried out in Guyana’s waters unless the Government of Guyana first grants permission. The Agreement will come into effect as early as Monday.
The framework agreement to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the Growth in the Americas initiative is expected to help them to identify specific ways to advance their joint interest. The MoU aims to provide a platform for US private sector investment to build Guyana’s physical infrastructure, energy sector, and digital economy transparently. Guyana is the second Caribbean country to sign the MoU, joining Jamaica.
Secretary Pompeo’s trip to Guyana aims to highlight his country’s commitment to defending democracy, combating COVID-19 while revitalising our economies in the pandemic’s wake, and strengthening security against regional threats. He is scheduled to travel to Boa Vista, Brazil when he departs Guyana.