Secretary of States of the United States of America
On behalf of the Government and People of Guyana, I bid Secretary Mike Pompeo a warm welcome to Guyana.
This historic visit sends a powerful signal that Guyana is regarded as a responsible member of the hemispheric and international communities, as a sovereign nation firmly rooted in democratic principles, the rule of law, respect for human rights and the pursuit of sustainable and equitable development.
My Government is grateful to the United States Government and, in particular, to Secretary Pompeo, for their unwavering support for democracy and constitutional order in Guyana, during the recent political and electoral crisis in our country. Secretary Pompeo’s visit serves to remind us that the US will continue to be a steadfast partner, as we work with all stakeholders to consolidate our democracy, strengthen our institutions and pursue a path of unprecedented economic growth and development.
Secretary Pompeo’s visit, moreover, solidifies the bilateral relationship between Guyana and the US and sets the stage for expanding and deepening US cooperation with Guyana.
I am, therefore, pleased to announce the signing, this morning, of a Framework Agreement between the US Government and the Government of Guyana, to strengthen Energy and Infrastructure Finance and Market Building Cooperation, in the context of the Growth in the Americas Initiative.
This Agreement will stimulate the enhancement of the business environment for US private sector investment in Guyana, particularly in the fields of energy – both non-renewables and renewables – and infrastructure. The Agreement will also pave the way for the US private sector to expand their investment portfolio and partner with the Guyanese private sector. These partnerships will help to meet our broader infrastructure and downstream development needs and by extension drive economic growth and development as well as job creation. Notably, more opportunities will be available for firms to explore investment opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector, ICT and food production, among others.
I am also pleased to announce that Guyana and the US will deepen cooperation in the area of security, with specific attention to maritime security and joint patrols, to interdict narcotics trafficking. This will also allow us to improve our technical and human capabilities in monitoring Guyana’s Exclusive Economic Zone. This augurs well for stronger collaboration and broader technical assistance to help combat both domestic and transnational organized criminal networks. We also look forward to continued and enhanced assistance in the fields of border control, anti-terrorism, cyber security, technology transfer and anti-corruption measures.
I have discussed with Secretary Pompeo the two main challenges currently besetting our country: combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and lifting the economy out of the economic downturn. I am grateful for the US support to Guyana, in helping us to fight the pandemic. I am confident that there will be more targeted assistance for our health sector, as well as support for our traditional, emerging, and attractive sectors..
The Republic of Guyana is mindful, also, that the largest bloc of its diaspora resides in the United States. My government remains committed towards leveraging the skills and investment potential of our diaspora.
I raised with Secretary Pompeo the need to revisit the current export restriction placed on wild caught catfish, a product which is a great demand in the Guyanese diaspora. This market is very important not only for our export earning but also for the sustenance of the livelihood of the fishing communities.