India, Guyana continue to strengthen bilateral relations, explore trade opportunities

India and Guyana continue to strengthen their bilateral ties as partners in trade, as well as other areas including agriculture, finance, culture and health.

On Saturday, government officials and business executives of the two countries participated in a round-table discussion at the Pegasus Corporate Centre, Georgetown.

The discussion centred around Guyana as an investment hub and collaboration between the two nations.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd, and Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, represented the Government of Guyana, while India’s government was represented by External Affairs Minister, Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

“Today, if one were to survey the economic spectrum in India, India would qualify as one of the very few countries of the world where you could quite safely say that every single thing is manufactured, from a paperclip to an aeroplane. At the same time, on the opposite end of the world, and initially at the current time, on a smaller scale, Guyana is now today, one of the fastest growing economies in the world. And of course, a lot of that is driven by incredibly exciting developments in oil and gas,” Dr  Singh expressed.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh addressing the gathering on Saturday

He noted that a large percentage of Guyana’s growth over the past few years has been due to the spillover effects of its booming oil and gas sector.

Referencing hospitality, transport and logistics, engineering, financial services, and food and agricultural projects, the senior minister said every sector has been touched by the ‘incredible wave of economic activity’ brought on by oil and gas production.

“Our government’s position, having carefully considered the experience of oil and gas producers around the world and of resource-dependent economies around the world, our government’s explicit position and explicit policy position is to ensure that we cultivate the conditions that are necessary to secure a widely diversified economy and one that is not solely dependent, and entirely exposed to oil and gas.

“It is for this reason that we’re devoting the amount of policy effort we are to ensuring a competitive, a large, growing and internationally competitive non-oil economic sector,” Dr Singh explained.

He outlined the tremendous potential that exists in Guyana for local investors, noting that trade with Guyana does not only open opportunities for the country, but the continent and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as well.

“Suffice it to say that irrespective of what you do in India, whether you manufacture the paper clip or the aeroplane… whether you produce goods or services… if you’re looking for external opportunities, Guyana is ripe with such opportunity,” he posited.

Meanwhile, Minister Todd told the gathering that government will continue to work at a policy level to ensure connectivity between policymakers and business leaders, to advance economic development.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd

“We are working to show that we have the right instruments to allow for a seamless flow, and seamless connectivity…. We are going to put all systems in place to ensure that the business environment here in Guyana is fair, that it has predictability, and that you also, as business leaders from India, that you can enjoy a very productive environment in Guyana. We are open to business. And we want to do business,” he stated.

Dr Jaishankar also expressed his confidence in Guyana as a suitable partner for trade, and an ideal destination for investment.

Indian External Affairs Minister, Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar

Several prominent members of the private sector were also present at the event including head of the Guyana Office for Investment (Guyana Invest), Dr Peter Ramsaroop, and head of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Komal Singh.


Earlier in the day, Guyana also signed an air services agreement with India, which will see easier and increased travel between the two nations.

In addition to this, several memoranda of understanding were signed between multiple organisations responsible for trade in India and Guyana.

An India/ Guyana Chamber of Commerce was established on Saturday

These MoUs will see tremendous benefit for Guyana in the areas of oil and gas, energy, agriculture, investment, and health, among others. An India/Guyana Chamber of Commerce was also established, with businessman and former cricketer, Ramnaresh Sarwan as its president. The chamber is set to promote trade, investment, and cultural exchange between Guyana and India.