Remarks By The Hon. Moses Nagamootoo, Prime Minister of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana On The Occasion Of the People’s Republic of China’s New Year Celebrations Thursday, January 26, 2017

 

Earlier Yesterday, I welcomed Ambassador Cui Jianchun to Guyana, but do so again, in public.  Guyana welcomes you, Excellency, and Madame Liang Huili, and I assure you of the friendship and hospitality of our Guyanese people.

It gives me great pleasure to join you this evening in celebrating the most important holiday of the year in China, the Spring Festival.  We recognize it also as the Chinese New Year, a time of renewal and a time of recommitment, and, as on this occasion, a time of strength.  So, on behalf of the Government and people of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, and on my own behalf, I am delighted to extend New Year’s greetings to His Excellency President Xi Jinping and the people of the People’s Republic China on this occasion of joy and fortitude.  Our felicitations and warm wishes extend to you, Excellency, and your family, your staff of the Embassy, Guyanese of Chinese Ancestry and the Chinese community here in Guyana.

Our friendship, which started nearly 45 years ago, was born out of a common desire to build a relationship that produced tangible benefits for the people of our two countries.  Since then, the world economy has grown many times over with invaluable contributions coming from China in aid, trade and foreign investments.  China has become the second largest economy in the world.  China has become the leading trading nation and a net exporter of capital.  China has now become the third most powerful country in the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Perhaps, most significant of all of these successes, is that achieved by the currency of China, the Yuan Renminbi.  Today, the Renminbi has the status of a reserve currency.  The IMF has now included the Renminbi as one of only five currencies that can be freely used in international trade and can be included in the foreign reserves of countries for that purpose.

Excellency, Guyana feels honoured to have a friend that has been able to demonstrate how effective international trade and capital flows can be in bringing immeasurable economic success for itself and the international community as a whole.  It serves to remind all of us of our mutual dependence on each other and the common responsibility that we have towards helping to improve the human condition.  The opportunity for economic expansion and human development rests on open trade relations and greater flows of foreign investment and Guyana is pleased to be a part of that system.  Guyana therefore looks forward to being able to continue doing business with China in an atmosphere of mutual respect in keeping with the aspirations and capacity of our countries.  We believe this to be possible given the commitment to globalization that President Xi Jinping made at Davos, Switzerland a few weeks ago.

Excellency, Guyana and China have worked closely not only at the bilateral level but also at the regional and international levels on matters of interest to our countries, whilst enjoying frequent contact in the political, diplomatic, economic and cultural arenas. China is an important development partner to Guyana and continues to play a critical role in both the public and private sectors as evidenced over the years by its investments and assistance programmes.

Conscious of the value of our friendship, I wish to express on behalf of the Government and people of Guyana our appreciation for the generous assistance that has been made possible by the economic success enjoyed by China.  China’s assistance to Guyana spans many areas and has made an impact on our lives in several ways.  We are grateful for the construction of the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, the offer of exchange programmes for journalists, security personnel and other professionals.  We are grateful for the services of your Medical Brigade, and for assistance to expand and improve Guyana’s public infrastructure, public safety and security, and provide language and cultural support.

Excellency, Guyana has consistently supported the “One China” policy because we believe in the sovereignty and indivisibility of states, the importance of which Guyana knows too well as a consequence of the risks posed to our own sovereignty and indivisibility stemming from a contrived controversy. Like China, we seek a peaceful solution to any controversy and welcome the intention of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to ensure the use of a peaceful mechanism to bring the unjust claim to our Essequibo region to an end, once and for all.  Guyana looks forward to China’s continued support in that endeavor.

Excellency, as you know, the Government of Guyana has embarked on its quest for the realization of a Green Economy.  We have taken note, with much appreciation, of the efforts of the Government of the People’s Republic of China to achieve a green economy with the inclusion of climate action in your government’s 13th five year plan (2016-2020).  Like China, Guyana is a signatory to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and has adopted the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda which provides a framework for the realization of the Green Economy.  Our work in this regard will ensure that our resources are exploited in a responsible manner that ensures the sustainability of our planet as we provide for the needs of our people.  Guyana looks forward to working with China and other countries on achieving the sustainable development goals.

In this regard, Guyana looks forward to continued cooperation with the Government of China as our countries embark on the path to make our countries Green, and provide a good life to our people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let us raise a toast in this Year of the Rooster to the health and happiness of President Xi, and to the people of China, and to our longstanding, special friendship and cooperation.  Happy New Year!  May you have peace year after year!

I thank you.

 

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