Remarks made by the Honourable Carl B. Greenidge, Vice President and Foreign Affairs Minister at the Signing and Handingover Ceremony of two (2) of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) Projects. June 27, 2018

Hon. Annette Ferguson, Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, His Excellency Mitsuhiko Okada, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Guyana, Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan, Deputy Secretary General of CARICOM, Distinguished members of the Japanese Delegation, Representatives of Government agencies and Departments, Distinguished guests, invitees, media, ladies & gentlemen.

It is a pleasure to be here this morning to mark this important step in cooperation between the Government and people of Japan and those of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

It is my distinct honour to welcome you all to this joint Signing specifically and Handing-over Ceremony of two projects under Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Over the years of course as has been mentioned by both the representatives of the Government of Japan the Government of Guyana, there has been extensive cooperation between Japan and the people of Guyana and that cooperation assistance has spanned over a variety of areas: Technical Cooperation, Finance and Investment Cooperation, and as well as Grant Assistance. These projects, I am happy to note,  are not only clear manifestations of the excellent relationship that exists between our two governments but just as significantly have contributed to the enhancement of Guyana’s social and economic development.

Guyana formally established diplomatic relations with Japan in 1967. And since then our two countries have collaborated on many issues of mutual interest, both at the bilateral and multilateral levels because we are members of all the key multilateral institutions as well as regional ones.  At the bilateral level, our relations have been built essentially around the socioeconomic development of the country and Guyana has been one of the main recipients of Japanese assistance in the English speaking Caribbean region.

This assistance includes important projects such as the Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP), Non-Project Grant Aid, Technical Cooperation Programmes (Technical Training, Technical Projects, and the Dispatch of Japanese expertise/volunteers in a variety of areas), amongst others. Some of them have been based in this Ministry.

In accordance with our existing strong bonds of friendship and cooperation, both countries continue to demonstrate a willingness to further this cooperation and strengthen our interaction for the mutual benefit of both sets of our people, and today is evidence of that commitment and endeavour.

As Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, I am extremely heartened by the timeliness of the Government of Japan’s contribution in the area of renewable energy because such assistance accords well with Guyana’s development trajectory which is of course towards becoming a Green Economy. Both the Project for the “Introduction of Renewable Energy and the Improvement of Power System” and the “Procurement of the Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) street lamps” will contribute significantly to our country’s Green State Initiative.

At a value of Japanese Yen 1,848,000,000 or the equivalent of US$17,812,237, the project on the Introduction of Renewable Energy aims at improving the efficiency of the power system in the City of Georgetown and the surrounding areas by enhancing substation and distribution equipment, as well as establishing a PV system and an energy management system at the CARICOM Secretariat. The 10,930 units of the LED street lamps (valued at USD 1,329,984) will be used for the replacement of the current street lights in selected areas and aid in the improvement of the Government’s energy initiative.

Excellency, I therefore, on behalf of the Government and people of Guyana, wish to thank the Government of Japan for this timely contribution and their continued generosity.  Both our countries are committed to economic progress and a better way of life for our people’s, and it is hoped that this shared goal will further encourage closer ties between the two countries and peoples.

May relations between Guyana and Japan continue to grow and grow rapidly and may this growth continue to be of mutual benefit to the peoples of both countries.

I thank you all very much

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