Suriname remains open to partnerships with Guyana − President Santokhi

In light of the pressing demand for energy, countries of the region must band together to mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure a smooth transition to renewable energy.

This is the position of President of Suriname, His Excellency Chandrikapersad Santokhi, who delivered a virtual address to the opening of the International Energy Conference being held at the Marriott Hotel in Guyana.

President of Suriname, Chandrikapersad Santokhi

He expressed that Suriname remains open to partnerships with Guyana in this regard. President Santokhi called attention to the existing joint programme, noting that this can be extended on a regional level.

“Suriname and Guyana will share expertise and resources, save costs, reduce risk, improve our relationships and develop the border areas in Suriname and Guyana, and to develop shore bases and airports, increase production, and also promote greater transparency and accountability.”

He said this joint programme will promote development in the exploitation of other natural resources, and can even bring to a head the creation of an economic free zone.

“It is now time to step up our joint activities and interactions so that we can take advantage of the opportunities that currently exist. We must bring together all the major public and private sector stakeholders across the entire energy value chain to lead this planet to sustainable development,” he stated.

The concept of an economic free zone refers to the mapping out of territories by the government for little to no taxation−a measure intended to promote economic activity.

Moreover, President Santokhi highlighted that Guyana’s role in the energy matrix makes the country a prime candidate for investment and joint ventures.

Just last month, Guyana signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with the Suriname Energy Chamber (SEC) aimed at promoting joint ventures between investors of the two countries, as well as realising joint activities that can promote investment at the regional and national levels.

In a further representation of the synergetic relationship between Guyana and Suriname, the two countries also signed the Strategic Dialogue and Cooperation Platform Agreement, a bilateral agreement that is expected to strengthen relations on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit.

Additionally, it will facilitate bridging territorial divides through the construction of the Corentyne bridge. This bridge is set to have a monumental impact, boosting travel, tourism, agriculture, and oil and gas.