Georgetown, Guyana – (February 19, 2018) President David Granger said that the Chinese, who first arrived in Guyana in 1853, have enriched the country’s national culture and diversified its economy, adding that they have done so while still preserving their cultural values. Speaking at 2018 Chinese New Year Dinner, the Head of State said, “Guyana looks forward in this ‘Year of the Dog’ to strengthening ties of cooperation with China, ties which we have enjoyed since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1972.” The event was held at the New Thriving Restaurant on the East Bank of Demerara.
The Chinese Lunar New Year and Spring Festival is observed wherever persons of Chinese origin live and work. The dog is characterised as faithful, loyal, sincere and reliable in Chinese astrology. President Granger said this is an occasion to renew long-standing ties of blood, history and friendship between Guyana and China; a time to recall the undeniable contributions, which the Chinese have made, and continue to make, to Guyana’s development; and a time for celebration.
“Guyana acknowledges and welcomes the support, which China continues to provide to our national defence and development. His Excellency Cui Jianchun [Chinese Ambassador to Guyana], within his first year in Georgetown, provided substantial support for science education at the Cyril Potter College of Education and presented valuable, non-lethal equipment to the Guyana Defence Force and the Guyana Police Force, among others. I can think of no fitter creature that characterises our hopes for the year ahead and the friendship that we enjoy than one that is faithful, loyal, sincere and reliable,” President Granger said.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Jianchun, in his remarks, spoke of China’s commitment to continued cooperation with its bilateral partners. He informed that in 2017, his country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) surpassed US $12 trillion for the first time, contributing to 30 percent of world economic growth. Additionally, more than 30 million jobs were created.
Closer to home, the Chinese community in Guyana has been able to create more than 1000 jobs for Guyanese and the Ambassador assured that cooperation will continue between Guyana and China, particularly in the areas of tourism, trade, Information Community Technology (ICT), infrastructure, health, security and defence, training and capacity building. He also informed that China will be hosting the International Import Exposition in Shanghai in November and said that the country “will fully support the Guyanese delegation in taking advantage of this opportunity to promote Guyana and its products to be sold in the largest consumer market in the world.”
This year, Guyana observed the 165th anniversary of the arrival of the first batch of Chinese indentured immigrants. Moreover, January 12 has been designated by President Granger as Chinese Arrival Day, in recognition of the sterling contribution of the Chinese to national development.
Minister of State, Mr. Joseph Harmon, Minister of Public Security, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, Minister of Citizenship, Mr. Winston Felix, Minister of Finance, Mr. Winston Jordan, Former President, Mr. Donald Ramotar and former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds were also in attendance.