‘Reset’ Guyana – EU ties, says president Ali

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His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana

By Ray Chickrie

PARAMARIBO, Suriname — On the occasion of the first Guyana – EU investment conference held on March 23, Guyana president Mohammed Irfaan Ali, praised the European Union (EU) for their role in restoring democracy in Guyana and called for a ‘reset’ in Guyana/EU ties by urging the group to seize the unfolding economic opportunities in Guyana.

The conference was attended by 500 delegates from 47 countries. The EU ambassador to Guyana, Fernando Ponz Cantó, told the conference that  Guyana is the fastest-growing economy in the hemisphere and one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

“The opportunities will be boundless” president Ali said, […] “This conference allows our investors to gain insights into the economic opportunities which will become available. Investors doing business with Guyana can be assured of an ever-improving enabling environment for business. They can be sure of a growing economy that will support business expansion.

“They can look forward to improvements in ease-of-doing-business and respect for property rights and the rule of law. Guyana offers several advantages for European firms.”

President Ali reminded the participants that Guyana has been engaged in an economic partnership with Europe for the past 45 years and therefore has well-established investor relations.  He said that Guyana offers several advantages for European firms and is also strategically located and offers access to key markets, including the Caribbean.

“Guyana is on an upward trajectory. We will soar to greater heights. This is a time of great change in Guyana. It is also an opportune moment for us to reset our relations with Europe. Investment must be a key element of that process. And, you are the trigger to ensuring it happens. Guyana is pursuing a transformative agenda which will require significant investment. The European Union, in turn, is charting its post-pandemic reopening and recovery, and this will drive the bloc to explore new trade and economic opportunities for enhancing its global reach and influence,” president Ali, continued. “The Conference is taking place against the prospects of a renewed long-term partnership between Europe and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP); the event, therefore, provides the opportunity to reposition Guyana-EU relations.”

According to president Ali, the EU can expect a warm welcome to invest in Guyana and will be given great opportunities to partake in Guyana new oil and gas economy. This is especially so given the fact that the EU was relentless in “insisting” that the will of the Guyanese people be respected in the last poll.

“This month, Guyana is observing one year since the eventful elections of March 2, 2020. Allow me in this regard to express, yet again, the appreciation for the principled role played by the European Union and particularly the head of the EU Delegation in Guyana in insisting on respect for the democratic will of the people,” president Ali said.

“The European Union has been a bastion for promoting respect for human rights and democracy. Guyana’s relations with the European Union and its member states are based upon respect for human rights and democratic norms. Democracy remains indispensable to ensuring a favourable environment for attracting investment, stimulating trade, and fostering economic development,” president Ali added. “Guyana is also grateful for the EU’s support, over the years, for private sector development and for its role in supporting climate adaptation and mitigation,” he said.

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