Georgetown, Guyana – (April 14, 2016) I visited the People’s Republic of China on official Government business in March 2016.
The Ambassador of China to Guyana, who was in country at that time, made arrangements for me to meet officials of four companies, which had signalled their intention to make significant investments in Guyana. These Companies were located in Beijing, Shanghai, Hebei and Heilong Jiang Provinces.
In this regard, because of the significant distances involved and the limited time available on that trip, the Ambassador made arrangements for these companies to provide transportation, both air and land, for me to travel to their respective Head Offices.
On the March 27, 2016, one such arrangement was made for me to visit Long Jiang Forest Industries Group, a Company situated in Heilong Jiang Province. The Long Jiang Forest Industries Group is a state-owned company that had acquired 55 percent of the shares in Bai Shan Lin and is intended to fully take over the company in 2016.
Two officials from the Long Jiang Forest Industries Group, along with two officials from Bai Shan Lin, accompanied me on the aircraft on the flight from Beijing to Heilong Jiang Province to attend the meeting.
At the meeting, the Vice Director of the Company, Mr. Wong Dong Xu, in the presence of officials of Bai Shan Lin, gave the assurance that the Company’s officials will be in Guyana by May 2016 to complete due diligence for the takeover, and to satisfy and expand on the obligations of Bai Shan Lin to Guyana.
I used the opportunity to convey all of the concerns and expectations of the Government and people of Guyana with respect to foreign investment generally and those with respect to Bai Shan Lin in particular.
The Ministry made no official release on these matters at that time, since a prerequisite to that release would have been a formal briefing of the President and Cabinet.
The publication of a lone photograph, therefore, without seeking to investigate and report on its context was not the work of the Ministry of the Presidency. I wish to make no comment on the motivations for its publication.