[www.inewsguyana.com] – President Donald Ramotar has joined CARICOM Heads of Government in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago for a meeting with Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.
This is the First Summit meeting of CARICOM Heads of State and their Japanese counterpart, as the countries are celebrating in 2014 CARICOM-Japan Friendship Year, to mark 20 years since their first formal engagement in 1993.
The discussions centered on the vulnerabilities faced by CARICOM Member towards achieving sustainable economic growth, strengthening the relations between Japan and CARICOM at the bilateral level and enhancing cooperation at the multilateral level.
Ramotar expressed his appreciation for Prime Minister Abe’s recognition of the developmental challenges of CARICOM Member States particularly the issue of graduation which has seen those Member States now qualified as middle or high income countries no longer being eligible for concessional loans and grants from international financial institutions.
He acknowledged Prime Minister Abe’s stated support to represent the position of CARICOM Member States on this issue in the forums of the developed countries.
The President also highlighted financing for development as one of the eight Millennium Development Goals that was still to reach its target as very few developed countries had made good on the pledge of 0.7% of GDP towards developmental assistance to vulnerable countries.
He requested Prime Minister Abe’s further support in advancing the need for this commitment to be met.
In their bilateral meeting, the leaders of Guyana and Japan took the opportunity to reiterate their desire to enhance the relations of the two countries. President Ramotar referred to renewable energy, infrastructure and science and technology as areas where Guyana could benefit from Japan’s expertise and assistance.
He also encouraged investment from Japanese companies particularly in the area of extraction of minerals. It was agreed that the two sides would pursue these and other areas of cooperation in the near future.
President Ramotar was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett; Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh, Director General of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ambassador Elisabeth Harper.