The Governments of Guyana and the Peoples’ Republic of China on Thursday inked an Air Service Agreement (ASA) – a move that not only seeks to enhance passenger travel and trade between the two countries but also broaden Guyana’s global connectivity.
The Agreement was signed between Public Works Minister Juan Edghill and Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Guo Haiyan, at the Ministry’s Kingston, Georgetown, office.
According to Minister Edghill, this ASA will facilitate air transport connectivity between the two nations and develop mutual relations in the field of civil aviation. He pointed out that while Guyana and China have excellent trade relations in different fields, the lack of direct Airlink has been a disadvantage.
“The signature of this agreement puts the legal framework in place to address this challenge. So, China and Guyana would not only be “friendly” and… “distant” but would become nearer. It is anticipated that airlines of both countries will capitalise on the opportunities that exist for the movement of people and cargo between the two countries,” he stated.
In fact, the Public Works Minister outlined that there is already significant traffic of passenger and cargo between the two nations annually, and the enactment of this agreement will only foster cultural interactivity as well as advance air transport services, trade, and economic growth.
Further, he noted that such interconnectivity will seek to ensure that the tourism potential of Guyana is fully explored.
Moreover, the Public Works Minister outlined that the signing of this agreement is yet another step being taken by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic administration to expand Guyana’s global reach by establishing new air connectivity.
“The signing of this agreement reflects the government’s commitment to connecting Guyana to the rest of the world… This agreement complements the more than 50 years of services agreement Guyana has established with other ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) subscribing standards for the development of Airlink amongst ourselves. We are playing our role in getting that landscape in place,” he stated.
In fact, Minister Edghill used the opportunity to lobby the Chinese Ambassador to invite China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Air China, among others, to explore flying the Guyana-China route.
Guyana and China have been exploring the possibility of civil aviation cooperation for years. In 2014, the Civil Aviation Authorities of the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Indonesia. Then in 2019, the two sides began negotiations in preparation for the agreement.