President Dr. Irfaan Ali said that Guyana is working on an international agenda that will propel the country to become a global leader in several areas, including the environment and agriculture.
The Head of State made the declaration last evening while delivering the feature address at India’s 72nd Republic Day Anniversary Reception at the National Cultural Centre.
He said that the country would look to emulate India on its leadership qualities, especially through Guyana’s expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy and its current international commitments on environmental management. Guyana, the President noted, is already taking on the mantle of providing strong leadership in the CARICOM region to ensure food security and sustainability and will focus heavily on reducing food import bills by 25% by 2025.
Additionally, President Ali pointed out that Guyana is already following India’s initiatives on energy security by means of expanding access and using renewables, by strengthening bilateral relationships, by enhancing the country’s democracy, by fortifying its laws to ensure it reflects the needs and will of the people and by embarking on an aggressive transformation of the country’s human resources through training and educational opportunities.
“Like India, we are also transforming infrastructure landscape, modernising our landscape, making our infrastructure system, our transportation system more efficient and reliable. Importantly, like India, we are also in the process of rebranding our country.
When Guyana is heard in the international community, it must be synonymous with democracy, the rule of law, safe and stable macroeconomic environment and, more importantly, a people that are willing to contribute our bit to global development and a better world.”
MAINTAINING AND STRENGTHENING RELATIONSHIP
The Head of State said that as Guyana celebrates with India, he wanted to recommit working on maintaining and strengthening “our traditional and mutually beneficial relations”.
He emphasised that Guyana and India have always shared a bond of friendship built on mutual values and principles and shared interests, which have benefitted both countries. He stated, “India has been extremely supportive of Guyana’s development—From the National Stadium at Providence, to our modernising road infrastructure, the ICT Centre of Excellence at the University of Guyana, to the Indian Immigration Monument at Palmyra—India’s support for Guyana’s development is unmistakable.”
The President said that India leads by example and has helped Guyana tremendously over the years.
He pointed to the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme that has provided training to Guyanese students in various areas, including accountancy, agriculture, auditing, banking and information technology, governance, and communication, as well as its most recent educational support in facilitating opportunities for thousands of Guyanese to study at its universities through the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) programmes.
“Through the generosity of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we were able to kick-start our COVID-19 immunisation campaign at a time when many countries were struggling to obtain vaccines.”
Guyana was just one of many countries to have benefitted from this altruistic assistance, which President Ali said shows India’s leadership and goodwill in the finest traditions of international solidarity.
The President added that cooperation between the two countries continue to grow and is evident through India’s support for Guyana’s transportation sector, which will see the construction of a ferry to provide services to the North-West; a line of credit that will provide the country with funds to support the electrification of 30,000 households via solar power and the provision by India of drainage pumps to assist in combatting the negative effects of climate change.
He also expressed confidence that the two nations would enhance their relationship moving forward.