New York, United States – (September 25, 2015) President of the Inter America Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno is now further aware of the details related to the impact of the Venezuela territorial claim on Guyana’s economy. President David Granger, during a meeting with Moreno, at the Guyana Permanent Mission to the UN office in New York, formally briefed him on the situation.
The IDB President was told that while the overall economy is being affected, the brunt of it is being felt by the five regions of the Essequibo.
“The claims have had a very negative effect over the years. It became worse in 2013 when that country expelled a vessel from our waters, and became much worse in May this year,” the President told reporters following the meeting. “The Venezuela claims have scared away investors and we made the President of the bank aware of the impact that the aggression has had on our economic development of that huge area,” President Granger said.
While the President declined to give details of the IDB’s position on the territorial dispute, he said that they are very interested in a peaceful resolution to the matter.
Also discussed during the meeting was Bank’s support for the development of renewable energy in Guyana. “The bank, as you know, has responsibility for the disbursal of Norway funds and we would like to work with the bank to ensure that Guyana satisfies the requirements of those funds, and at the same time satisfy the requirements for renewable energy,” the President added.
In addition, the President said there were discussions in broad terms, regarding access to concessionary funds, given the fact that the local economy showed signs of anaemia when the new administration got into office.
The President pointed out that there were challenges, in the rice, sugar, bauxite, and gold industries over the last twelve months. “So we have been pursuing a very important social agenda to ensure that we bring more people into the economy at the grass root level; through educational and poverty reduction programmes. So at the same time, we need to keep our economy buoyant and the IDB is a very important partner in Guyana’s economic restructuring,” the President said.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge, who was present at the meeting, said that the IDB has signaled its commitment to working with Guyana in other areas of development. Some of these, the Minister said, will include marine transport, infrastructure and more importantly the electricity sector.
“He (the IDB President) stressed how important electricity supply is, and its prices are for economic efficiency and productivity, and what impact it has on other sector such as manufacturing. Minister Greenidge added that the IDB President has also urged that Guyana cooperate for improving the efficiency of GPL as perhaps the highest priority in terms of their investment programme.