Brazil, Europe, China among front runners to finance Corentyne Bridge

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…as Bouterse laments slothful cooperation progress

The Brazilians, Europeans and Chinese are interested in financing the bridge across the Corentyne River. This revelation was made by visiting Surinamese Head of State Desi Bouterse, following a working retreat with his Guyanese counterpart on Friday at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana.

President David Granger and President Désiré Delano Bouterse being accorded the Guard of Honour Salute at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport

President David Granger and President Désiré Delano Bouterse being accorded the Guard of Honour Salute at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport

The two met with media operatives and spoke of their meeting which was focused in part on mutual areas of economic concerns.

According to Head of State Granger, it is fitting that the two largest Caribbean Community (Caricom) Members continues to meet on areas of mutual cooperation particularly with respect to the economic affairs of the two countries.

The visiting Surinamese Head of State told media operatives that the meeting was held in part to create structure for a result based agenda tied to specific timelines.

He said the two have agreed on some structural mechanisms with regard to the implementation of agreements had between the two countries.

President Désiré Delano Bouterse of Suriname inspecting the Guard of Honour mounted by ranks of the Guyana Defence Force

President Désiré Delano Bouterse of Suriname inspecting the Guard of Honour mounted by ranks of the Guyana Defence Force

On the matter of the construction of the Bridge linking the two countries, Bouterse told media operatives, that there is already a Memorandum of Understanding inked with China Railway Construction and both Suriname and Guyana.

He said there are different financing mechanisms available to the two countries and that opportunities are being explored with China, Brazil and the European Union with regards the financing the bridge.

President David Granger and Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge in a meeting with President Désiré Delano Bouterse and his Foreign Minister, Ambassador Niermala Badrising at the Marriott Hotel

President Granger and Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge in a meeting with President Bouterse and his Foreign Minister, Ambassador Niermala Badrising at the Marriott Hotel

Bouterse did not make mention of the Islamic Development Bank, which had visited the two countries recently and offered support with the construction of the bridge.

Meanwhile, President Granger told media operatives that the meeting centred on the implementation of agreements that were had some time ago.

The Guyanese and Surinamese delegation led by President David Granger and President Désiré Delano Bouterse during a plenary session at the Marriott Hotel

The Guyanese and Surinamese delegation led by President Granger and President Bouterse during a plenary session at the Marriott Hotel

He reminded that the two had met some time back and among the issues discussed were problems being experienced by Guyanese and Surinamese and the ferry system.

Granger said a mechanism has since been created “for expediting the solution to those issues.”

Granger was adamant that the meeting was not in fact a talk shop since agreements were had “about solving problems.”

President Granger revealed too that the economic concerns of the two countries will be put before the ‘cooperation Council’ and that economic matters that may arrive from time to time “will be quickly resolved or brought to the attention of that council.”

Granger said that the two Heads are concerned with the livelihoods of the persons crossing the Corentyne River and that access to the Surinamese airports and its unimpeded access was also discussed as a matter to be expedited.

According to President Granger, the structure has been agreed on to expedite the matters related to the mutual cooperation of the two countries particularly as it relates to the transportation sector.

Meanwhile Bouterse reminded that in July last, during a meeting between the two Heads of State, discussions were held on matters concerning the environment, tourism, oil exploration and investment among other areas.

He told media operatives that it has been six months since those meetings “and we are not very satisfied with what has been done with these issues.”

He spoke too of the establishment of special envoys between the two countries in order to meet and expedite issues affecting the two counties and their citizens. (Guyana Times)

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