By Ray Chickrie
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – It is now certain that Guyana, a new oil and gas power, plans to expand its global profile and solidify investments by opening embassies in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Staff is being identified to take up these positions according to Guyana’s minister of foreign affairs Hugh Todd.
According to Todd, the opening of embassies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, Qatar and United Arab Emirates (UAE), is to enhance capital and investment flow to Guyana.
It has been in the media for some years now that Guyana has been exploring the opening of an embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Both Qatar and the UAE will give Guyana favourable concessions to open embassies in their capitals.
A high-level delegation to Guyana led by Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum of the UAE recently plans to invest in agriculture and meat production in Guyana. Since that visit, another UAE team visited Guyana last week to explore investment opportunities. They are also looking to invest in poultry farming and fertilizer production.
Guyana already has an embassy in Kuwait that was established a decade ago with the generous help of the former Emir.
Meanwhile, Qatar has made good on its promise to donate a field hospital to Guyana to support its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. That hospital was delivered last week to Guyana.
President Mohammed Irfaan Ali of Guyana, said: “I thank the Emir and people of Qatar for their love and support. Weeks after my inauguration the Emir and I spoke and he promised to fly in a field hospital and accessories; today he delivered on that promise. Soon, we will be establishing our embassy in Qatar, and together we will accomplish lots more for the people of our two countries.”
Hugh Todd said to the Guyana Chronicle, “The fact that the Qataris have reached out to us in such manner shows that we’re gaining more friends, and given the fact that it is in a different region in itself- in the Middle East- I think it’s a good showing for Guyana in terms of our visibility and it shows that we are moving beyond our traditional and other partners.”
Kuwait has written off most of Guyana’s debt to that country. The outstanding debt is supposed to be finalized through a land swap deal which has stalled by the previous government.
A high-level trade and investment delegation from Qatar is also expected in Guyana soon, and the president of Guyana will undertake a visit to Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE in 2021 to ink some big projects.
“Our presence in the Middle East is growing and I think it’s going to yield significant benefits for the people of Guyana, in terms of investments and investment not only in public-private partnerships but private capital,” Todd told the Guyana Chronicle.