FOREIGN POLICY OF GUYANA
After its Independence from the United Kingdom in 1966, Guyana sought to play an outstanding role in international affairs, particularly among the Third World Countries and non-aligned nations. Guyana maintains diplomatic relations with a wide range of nations. It is a member of the United Nations (UN); the Caribbean Community (CARICOM); the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Group (ACP); the Commonwealth; the Group of the 77 and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Guyana was the founder of the Non-Aligned Movement and exerts an active role on International Affairs.
In addition, Guyana takes part in organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The Organization of American States (OAS) has an office in this country and the Secretariat headquarters of the CARICOM is located in Georgetown.
The regional actions that Guyana projects, is executed by means of its CARICOM membership, for the important role it played in its foundation. Guyana seeks to maintain its foreign policy closely aligned with the CARICOM consensus, especially in its election within the UN, OAS and other international organization.
The Government of President Jagdeo has raised Guyana’s Profile within the international community of nations, which has been obvious from the realization of important international events in Georgetown, among which are the following:
1) The XIX Rio Group Summit, convened in March 2007, in which Guyana played an important role in the strengthening of ties between the English-speaking Caribbean countries and the rest of Latin America, demonstrating its vocation to serve as "gateway of the America”.
2) The British Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting, which was held from the 15 to the 17 of October 2007, with the objective of dealing and agreeing on positions on the issue of climate change and the necessities of all the countries that forms part of said Organization to be financially and economically prepared for this. This Meeting was very important, given that from this an official communication was derived which declared of the world threat that climatic change represents and the severe impact on the economies of these countries, which content specifies a series of commitments intended to mitigate this phenomenon and to develop the cooperation on this issue. It is important to observe that the British Commonwealth was founded on the 13 of December 1931 and was originated from the separation of the British Empire. This organization, whose main objective is the international cooperation within the economical and political ambit, is integrated by 53 countries and functions by means of informal meetings between the Heads of State and Government, where resolutions are obtained by consensus. Queen Isabel II is seen among the member countries as a symbol of the association and maximum authority of the Commonwealth, although it has no legal powers whatsoever over the same.
On the other hand, the Caribbean Arts Festival - CARIFESTA X - will be held in Guyana from the 22 to the 31 of August 2008. This is a multicultural event that will take place periodically every 3 to 4 years by the CARICOM and Caribbean countries, with the aim of bringing together writers, artists and musicians, also to exhibit the region’s folkloric and cultural manifestations. Under the framework of this Festival it is planned to realize more than 100 cultural events, organized by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports which has extended invitations to more than 35 Caribbean and Latin-American countries. It is important to highlight that the first CARIFESTA took place in Georgetown in 1972, and was organized by Forbes Burnham who was inspired by Puerto Rico’s Caribbean Arts Festival in 1952.
The most important alliances of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana have been established with the following countries: Brazil, Cuba, China, India, Canada, USA and the United Kingdom, with whom they have signed a wide range of agreements and an assortment of cooperation projects have been carried out in various areas.
In objective of gaining a better perspective on Guyana’s relations with other countries, the following information is included, by country:
The relations between Guyana and Brazil has historically been characterized by cordiality and understanding. In the 90’s, Guyana’s interest to strengthen their ties with Brazil was growing, given that the proximity between the South American neighbors was one of their basic directives of their foreign policy. This determination by the governments of Cheddi Jagan (1992-1997) and Janet Jagan (1997-1999), was strengthened under the first government of President Bharrat Jagdeo, of which it is hoped to be continued under his second constitutional period.
In this sense, in February 2005, Brazil’s President, H.E. Luiz Inacio Lula made a visit to Guyana in correspondence to various visits made by President Jagdeo to Brazil, this being the second presidential visit of a Brazilian Head of State the first visit made by José Sarney. Said visit had as objective to strengthen existing ties, create new opportunities for economic development and bilateral trade.
The Guyana-Brazil agenda is constituted by the following topics:
1) The Georgetown-Lethem Road Link and the Takutu Bridge: located in the Essequibo Region, which construction had been promised to speed up, highlighting that the same are priorities to this Government. It is important to emphasize that the bridge, which construction was stopped due to investigations being carried out for corruption by the company in charge of the same, would have without doubt bolstered trade and integration between both countries; although many in this country also consider the negative influence that the threat of the colossus of the South represented to the economy and so small a population. In this regards, on the 15 of February 2007, the company Arte Leste de Curitiba began the construction of this bridge, work that would take a period of one year and will be supervised by the 6th Battalion of Engineers of the Brazilian Army.
2) Transport Agreement: the Brazilian Congress already gave its formal consent on this agreement whereby Guyanese vehicles could now travel Brazilian territory.
3) Agreement for the Suppression of Visas: Guyana eliminated the requirement of visas for Brazilian citizens and it is awaiting Brazil’s approval on the same for Guyanese citizens.
4) Migratory situation: approximately 1,500 Brazilians live in Guyana. The Government of this country is revising and aiming at regularizing the migratory status of Brazilians, in particular of those who are involved in activities connected with the mining sector.
5) Guyana designated Honorary Consuls in the Brazilian cities of Río de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
6) Contacts have been made with Petrobras (Brazilian Petroleum Company) to examine the possibilities of undertaking joint works for the exploration of petroleum and gas on the Guyanese coast.
7) Under the framework of the actions being undertaken presently by the Guyanese Government with the aim of exploring alternative sources of energy, given the increase in prices for petroleum, an agreement was reached between Guyana and Brazil for experts of the last to carry out studies with the objective of exploring Guyanese potential with regards to bio-energy, in particular ethanol and biodiesel, on which they focused mainly on exploring the feasibility for the production of ethanol (derived from sugar cane), as a source of energy, with sugar being the main product in Guyana. On the other hand, companies of Brazilian origin are among those interested in investing US$ 600 million in a project of sugar cane cultivation with the purpose of producing ethanol on approximately 40,000 hectares located in the region of the Canje River Basin, Berbice.
This close relation with Brazil has resulted in the increase of Guyana’s Profile towards the hemisphere. The background of this relation has to do with the particularity that both nations share membership in organizations such as the South American Community of Nations, the Amazonian Cooperation Treaty (ACT) and that Guyana represents CARICOM in the Rio Group, a circumstance that has been taken advantage so that Guyana would assume an active role as link between CARICOM and South America, which would be strengthened even further given that Georgetown is for this year the venue for the Rio Group Summit. Then again one of the interests of Brazil’s geopolitics towards this country is that of achieving a channel for its products derived from the Roraima and Amazonian States towards the Atlantic by means of a Guyanese port, much closer than by Venezuela. Under the framework of the South American Community of Nations, an integration process is being advanced centered on the development of infrastructural unions that would establish the fundamental channels to serve as means for the socioeconomic development and integration, by means of the IIRSA (Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure in South America).
An important aspect of the bilateral relations is the interest in becoming closer to Guyana shown by the Northern States of Brazil such as the Amazons, Amapa and Roraima, who would directly benefit from the regularization of transport by road with this country. Businesses from Roraima and Guyana maintain frequent contact with each other. Bilateral trade would not only benefit from the implementation of road links between the two countries, but also from Guyana’s approximation with Mercosur (Southern Common Market). The main indication of this process was the signing in July 1999, of the Mercosur-Guyana Memorandum of Understanding on the Issue of Trade and Investment, which provides the framework for the initiation of conversations on these topics; although for the time being little advancement has been presented on the issue.
The technical cooperation provided by Brazil takes on the role of increasing significance in bilateral relations. The projects of technical cooperation derived from missions sent by the Brazilian Agency for Cooperation (BAC), of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, acquires great significance before the importance that Guyana assigns to the intense technical cooperation that it has been receiving from other countries and international organizations.
In this sense, it is important to emphasize that within the framework of an agreement established between Brazil and Guyana in May 2006, technical experts from the Brazilian Company of Agricultural Investigations (EMBRAPA abbreviated in Spanish) initiated in October 2006, periodic visits to Guyana, with the objective of learning on Guyana’s local agricultural conditions, processes and marketing potentials, in order to advance the implementation of a project for the production of soy at a large scale in Guyana.
The relations between Guyana and Canada are basically that of cooperation at governmental level and that of investment by Canadian businesses. To highlight some aspects of the cooperation provided by said country, we have that Guyana received 138, 000 Canadian dollars (equivalent to approximately US$ 112,225) from the Government of Canada, earmarked to update their harbor facility in accordance with the new rules of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), with which it is intended to provide a standard framework regarding harbor facilities.
In regards to the incident of the severe floods that presented itself in Guyana in January 2005, members of the Canadian Parliament visited Guyana with the objective of evaluating the situation of the communities affected by the floods and to analyze ways in which Canada could assist in the recuperation of the same. In this respect, by means of the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives, Canada contributed G$ 7.6 millions to the Committee for Disasters of Region Ten, aimed at assisting with recuperation works as a result of the floods.
On the other hand, both countries signed in February 2005, a new agreement on aerial transport, which contemplates that from summer of said year, the Canadian airlines would have the right to fly to Georgetown from any where in Canada, as well as from Guyana it would be possible to fly to Hamilton, Ontario.
Privately there are business associations between Guyana and Canada, among which are the following:
1) CGX Energy Inc. (a company of Canadian origin, dedicated to the exploration of petroleum and gas) provided its Guyanese subsidiary, the company ON Energy, with the additional sum of US$ 8.5 millions for the exploration of petroleum and gas in the Berbice Region, although until now it has been fruitless. The Spanish company Repsol is associated with the Canadian company CGX Energy Inc. in the concession that it granted to the Guyanese Government.
2) The Canadian company Vannessa Ventures Ltd. Avails itself to initiate excavation works in a gold mine located around the Marundi Mountain and the Mazoa Hill. This company has been granted a concession to exploit gold for a period of seven years, in an area of 12,500 acres. It is important to highlight that the referred mine is located in the Essequibo Region.
3) The Guyanese Government and the Canadian mining company Cambior Ins. signed an agreement which constitutes a new mining company, with public and private capital (30%-70% of the shares, respectively) which will invest approximately US$ 40 millions for the exploitation of bauxite.
4) The Canadian company "U308 Corp." sited 43 points where uranium could be found in the Roraima River Basin, located in the Northeast region of Guyana, where perforation works would begin in March 2007. It is important to follow up on this issue given its location on the Reclamation Zone.
Guyana has sustained very wide relations with this country. It is important to highlight that Guyana was the first Caribbean country with which Cuba established cooperation relations for 31 years, after the independence, and presently both parties are involved, apart from the habitual collaboration in the sectors of health, agriculture, education and sports, in a cooperation program previously agreed by the presidents of both countries. Among these tasks stands out the new ophthalmologic center that has already begun to function in Guyana with advice being received from Cubans, and which made possible, between patients operated here and in Cuba, for 4,500 Guyanese to have recuperated their vision, by means of the “Operación Milagro”. Currently, the Health Squad has 96 members between doctors and other workers. On the other hand, four centers of integral diagnosis are being constructed in Guyana with advice from the Cubans, two of which are in the final phase, and it is foreseen the increase of medical cooperation. Presently in Cuba there are 359 Guyanese studying in the fields of health, teaching and sports.
In February 2006, President Bharrat Jagdeo traveled to Havana with the objective of renewing conversations with President Fidel Castro, conversations that had already begun in a bilateral meeting that took place within the framework of the II Cuba – CARICOM Summit, held in December 2005, in Barbados, pertaining to the cooperation that the Cuban Government has been providing to Guyana. During that opportunity, both rulers took the decisions regarding the following: ophthalmologic surgeries and the acquisition of equipments to carry out the same in Guyana, under the framework of the “Misión Milagro” which the Cuban Government has been operating since July 2005; the increase in the number of Cuban specialists to provide services Guyana; the creation of a cardiac center in Guyana; the training of Guyanese personnel in topics relating to health; the expansion in the number of scholarships so that Guyanese citizens could study in Cuba; to examine the possibilities to provide instructors for the training nurses in Guyana; Cuba will offer cooperation in regards to the conservation of energy, a project that is already in function with the purchase of 600,000 fluorescent bulbs assigned to replace the incandescent light bulbs, with which it is foreseen the reduction up to an 80% on energy consumption.
It is important to indicate, that Guyana has given its support to Cuba’s position in respect to the issue of Luis Posada Carriles and his extradition to Venezuela, since Jagdeo has prompted CARICOM’s support towards Cuba on this matter, first during the Eight Meeting of the Council for International Relations and the Communitarian Relations of the CARICOM, held in Bahamas, where said Organization issued a Communication regarding this subject, and in 2005, during the before mentioned Cuba – CARICOM Meeting held in Barbados, from where emanates a Declaration on this subject. It should be remembered that several Guyanese students died on the airplane Cubana Flight 455 (Cubana de Aviación) which exploded in Barbadian waters.
In 1972, Guyana established relation with China, becoming the first English-speaking Caribbean country to found relations with said country. Both countries opened their respective embassies on the same day of October 1973. Under this framework, Guyana and China maintains wide relations, which are based on the following agreements:
Agreement for the establishment of trade agreements and the development of bilateral trade (1971).
Agreement on economic and technical cooperation (1972, 1975, 1987, 1990, 1993 and 2003).
Interchange of Notes for the establishment of a Commission for Economic and Technical Cooperation (1984).
Cultural Agreement to stimulate and support the interchange and cooperation among relevant institutions from both countries in cultural, educational, sports, publication, press, radio, cinematography and television ambits (1984).
Agreement for Technical and Scientific Cooperation (1988).
Protocol on Mechanism for Consultation (1990).
Protocol on Medical Cooperation (1993).
Framework Agreement on the provision of loans with a preferential discount between China and Guyana (1997).
Memorandum of Understanding for the acquisition of Chinese planes “Y-12” (2001).
Interchange of Notes for six Guyanese citizens to study in China under the “TCDC Programme”.
Agreement for the suppression of visas on diplomatic and official passports (1988).
Trade Agreement (2001).
Interchange of Notes on the assistance for the construction of the International Center for Conferences (2001).
Agreement for the promotion and protection of investments (2003).
Memorandum of Understanding for China’s assistance on the agricultural development of Guyana (March 2004).
Interchange of Notes to facilitate the establishment of the Development Council for joint business Guyana – China.
Project on Ships (December 2004), by which China committed itself to cooperate with the design and construction of ships that will serve in the transportation of cargo and passengers in the river communities of Guyana.
Under the framework of these relations, there are the following:
1) In October 2004, the Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing made an Official Visit to Guyana, with the purpose of signing an agreement whereby the Chinese company CCTV would grant US$ 3,750 millions to the Guyanese company National Communications Network (NCN); also to discuss the availability of Chinese experts to assist in the rehabilitation of the Hydroelectric Plant in Moco Moco located in Region 9 (Upper Essequibo); to evaluate a greater Chinese involvement in the restructuring of the Sugar Plant at Skeldon, currently under construction; and the construction of the International Convention Center, which was inaugurated in December 2005.
2) In September 2005, from the agreement derived of the official visit made by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds to China in July of the same year, the Governor of the Bank of Guyana, Lawrence Williams and the Chinese Ambassador in Guyana, Shen Ping, signed an agreement whereby said Bank would grant 30,000,000 Jiao (equivalent to US$ 3.000.706,220.24) to the Guyanese Government assigned to the realization of projects, which were not defined on that opportunity, but which falls under the areas of economic and technical development.
3) Likewise, under the framework of the agreement signed by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, in January 2006, the Chinese Government sent to Guyana a technical team of 7 members, originated from the “Changjiang Ships Design Institute” and the Ministry of Commerce of China, with the objective of elaborating a feasibility study for the application of the before mentioned Project on Ships.
4) In the ambit of cooperation originated of China, it is highlighted the designation in January 2006, of a new team of 10 Chinese doctors, under the framework of the Agreement of Cooperation that both countries signed twelve years ago. This is the seventh such team to come to Guyana and has at its disposal doctors specialized in the following: general surgery, ophthalmology, acupuncture, radiology, anesthesiology, plastic surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, pathology, orthopedic surgery and pediatrics.
In regards to investments, the Chinese company “Bai Lin International Forest Development Inc.” is considering investing US$ 100 millions during the following three years for the processing and cultivation of lumber trees, with the purpose of reaching an annual production of 300 to 500,000 cubic meters of wood. It is known that the new project will be done in Linden, although it is not specified on the exact location, however, surely it will located on the “Reclamation Zone”, highlighted for consequent aims.
On the other hand, the Chinese company “Bosai Minerals Group” bought 70% shares of the company Omai Bauxite Mining Inc. (OBMI), transaction which was suspended until a better governmental evaluation (which holds 30% shares), authorizing its execution under the terms agreed by both companies.
The bilateral relations could be summarized as love and hate with regards to Guyana. These are cordial although often tense, given that although it is a sovereign country it would not wish the impositions of Washington, of economic weakness and dependency of the aid that derives from the north, including the thousand of citizens residing in that country, and the pressure that it exerts by means of the various international financial organisms in the granting and expenditure of vital funds for this country, which they have often been reluctantly compelled to accept the regulations dictated by the American administration.
As an example of the manifested uneasiness, President Jagdeo, on the 29 of September 2005, during his intervention during the 9th Annual Conference of the Americas, which took place in Miami, under the topic “The Latino American Global competition”, confirmed that the imminent elimination of the tariff preferences granted on sugar and banana could bring about devastating economical and social consequences for the small economies of the region. In this sense, he indicated that for Guyana, a country with a population of 700 thousand people, it was impossible to compete with large economies that produce in large quantities, one of the criticisms of this country and CARICOM towards the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas). President Jagdeo referred to the programs implemented by the North American Government to assist small Guyanese industries, which at the same time, compels Guyanese farmers to compete with subsidies granted by said Government to its rice producers. On the other hand, he urged the USA to give a greater assistance to Guyana in the issue of the fight against drug trafficking, given that this Government doesn’t have the sufficient resources for this.
In spite of that previously stated, in October 2005, in New York, during the occasion of his assistance to the 60th General Assembly of the UN, President Jagdeo agreed to do a TV interview with the “National Communications Network Incorporated”, in which he declared to have realized bilateral meetings with functionaries from USA and expressed his Government’s gratitude for the cooperation received from this country, in particular, the funds granted for support in social issues, with which Guyana made progress in the fulfillment of the Goals for the Millennium.
A sensitive issue is the deportation from the USA of citizens declared guilty of committing crimes in said country. In this respect, in February 2004, Guyana and the USA signed a Memorandum of Understanding by which it was agreed a framework proposal for said deportations. However, the concern of the Government of Guyana is that the number in deportees increases each day and the country does not have the sufficient resources to help the same to reintegrate into the Guyanese society. According to Governmental figures, the number of deportees is nearing the number of police officials in the State. This topic has been the object of discussion in various bilateral and multilateral meetings, and as a consequence of the agreements reached during the last Summit between CARICOM and the USA, this last, through the “United States Agency for International Development” (USAID), signed an agreement with the International Organization for Migrations (IOM) to extend the Pilot Program on Deportations for their reintegration into society, which is in progress in Haiti, and now this is going to be extended to Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and The Bahamas. Said Program which operates with American funds of US$1 million, has as objective to aid in the formation of the millions of deportees that are each year sent back to their nations of origin in the Caribbean, for which it is implemented strategies such as visits by consultants to the different countries with the aim of holding meetings with governmental authorities and pressure groups to provide advise, among other issues, regarding the reintegration to the society, working formation and branding of deportees, who are labeled as “dangerous criminal”. In this respect, Clement Rohee, Minister of Home Affairs, declared to the press that his Government has not received any official document in relation to the USA proposal on the issue of deportees to some of the Caribbean countries, including Guyana, and until this does not happen, nothing can be stated on the matter. Rohee indicated that, when this happens, this text will be studied carefully, expressing that he considers the amount assigned of US$1 million for the execution of the same as too small an amount, taking into consideration that three countries will be benefiting from this: Haiti Trinidad and Guyana. Likewise, he indicated that the program should target concrete aspects of this problem, as are the following: training, settlement, reintegration and identification.
Another subject where there were discrepancies between both Governments is regarding the reference made of Guyana in the Report published by “The U.S. Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs”, in 2005, issued on the 1º of March 2006, which indicated, among other, the following concerning Guyana’s performance on the issue of the fight against drug trafficking:
1. The violent armed groups that threatens Guyana’s fragile democracy, stems from drug trafficking, which reports an increase that could be used to acquire political influence.
2. Drug trafficking is corrupting the Guyanese society on a large scale.
3. Money laundering has merged with drug, weapons and human trafficking, as well as corruption and fraud.
4. The political instability, the government’s inefficiency, the crisis of the country’s internal security, the inefficient legal system and the lack of recourses, are all factors that hinder the capacity to implement an efficient campaign on the issue of drug trafficking.
5. Drug trafficking and money laundering seem to be sustaining the Guyanese economy. Known drug dealers have acquired important properties, timber concessions, they have constructed large hotels and other developments. These dealers own stores where they sell their products at incredibly low prices, which is a disadvantage to legitimate businesses who are suffering because money laundering in association with drug trafficking are distorting the internal economy, placing goods and services below market prices.
In a newspaper interview, President Jagdeo commented on the referred text, accusing the USA of using “double standard” in issues relating to crime. On the other hand, he indicated that specific persons were mentioned in this report, but the crimes committed were not specified. Likewise it points out that many denounces were made which conveyed that this Report with respect to links to drug trafficking by certain persons that have undertaken the construction of hotels, etc., have been investigated an it turned up that these have done so with loans, reason for which it has impossible to prove any crime whatsoever. Another element identified by Jagdeo is the annual budget of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) of approximately GY$ 100 millions, which is a substantial amount, but, according to him, drug trafficking has at its disposal an even larger quantity of money to commit its crimes.
An issue that showed the differences between both countries was that regarding to the human rights, given that within the Annual Report on the Human Rights Practices which was elaborated by the State Department of the USA in 2004, criticism was expressed on the alleged abuse by members of the police force and the bad conditions of the prisons in Guyana.
It is important to emphasize that Guyana was among the eleven countries of the CARICOM that signed, in October 2006, a declaration that was issued by eleven member states of the same, within the OAS, criticizing the USA plans to build fences throughout the border of this country and Mexico.
An aspect on which the USA expressed its support towards the measures taken by the Guyanese Government is the topic on “Trafficking in Persons (TIP)”, whereby in the 2005 Report, the USA recognized that Guyana made significant progress on this issue, especially that concerning the promulgation of legislation for the fight against this problem, the good coordination that exists between the various governmental organizations, and the awareness campaigns that has been implemented with the objective of making the population aware of these crimes.
The most recent agreements and cooperation projects are the following:
1) Agreement of Technical Support, which the USA agreed to finance US$ 50.000 for a technical and scientific investigation training program for those graduated in the fields of agriculture, forestry and natural resources, likewise it will deal with topics relative to technological transference, education and plans that may allow Guyana to make progress on the subject of food security and the improvement of agricultural productivity.
2) Bilateral Agreement for the care, treatment and support in the fight against AIDS, under the framework of which the American Government recently granted the Ministry of Finance of Guyana the sum of US$ 8.1 million.
3) Agreement of Technical Assistance, by means of which the American Government committed itself to finance a program intended to provide scientific and technical knowledge that will allow Guyana to make progress on the subject of food security and the improvement of agricultural productivity, with the objective of reaching the economic growth. This program, which cost is about US$ 50,000, is concentrated on the training of those graduated in the fields of agriculture, forestry and natural resources; likewise it will deal with topics relative to technological transference, education and study plans in related areas.
4) In an effort to fight the propagation of AIDS in Guyana, the North American Centers for Control and Prevention of this illness opened an office in the Embassy of the United States of America in 2002, and from January 2003, Guyana became one of the two only countries of the western hemisphere to be included in the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief under the Bush administration. As a complement to this cooperation, in September 2007 the hospital ship USNS (United States Southern Command) “Comfort” of the United States Army arrived in Guyana with the aim of offering medical, surgical, dentistry and veterinarian services to patients of six administrative regions of the country.
5) The American Government decided to offer more scholarships to Guyanese students, with the objective of counteracting the exodus of professionals, a situation that is affecting the Caribbean region. So far it has not been announced neither the nature nor the modality in which said scholarships would be granted, and it is known that the Committee of Forms and Means of the Congress of the USA has offered to examine the topic of the scholarships.
There is an interesting subject on the Jagdeo Administration, on which it has been held prolonged negociations with the American Government, related to the establishment in Guyana of an Office for the “United Status Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), in virtue of the important role and benefits that could be derived from the establishment of the same, given that the Government faces great constraints on financial and human resources with which to fight against these problems.
On the other hand, the American Government sponsored from the 19 to the 21 of June 2007, the Conference “Vision 20/20”, under the topic: “The development of the CARICOM in the XXI century: economic growth with social equality“, which had among its objectives the identification of priority areas for economic growth and development within the following 15 years, as well as the strengthening of relations between the USA and the countries that conform the CARICOM. Among the topics of the agenda there was the economic expansion, security, “Single Market and Economy” (CSME), as well as the definition of a common agenda on growth and development, under the framework of the preservation of democratic traditions and the enhancement of human rights, justice and social equality.
Before attending this Summit, President Jagdeo declared to the press the following:
1) “This Summit is very important given that the USA is one of our main trade partners and also it is where the glargest groups of Guyanese emigrants live”.
2) “I have in mind to lay on the table that relating to the following issues: deportees, the exchange of information, money laundering, drug trafficking, aid on security issues.
3) Regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the economic integration, it is known that there was a private meeting between both Presidents whereby it was discussed, apart from the before mentioned issues, that regarding to terrorism, a subject of great importance to the USA.
The Guyanese press reviewed some of the aspects of Jagdeo’s intervention in this Conference, among which it is important to hightlight his response to President Bush’s concerns on the relations that the Caribbean countries has with Cuba and Venezuela, to which he stated that these relations are based upon the national interest, complememnting his response with the following arguments:
1) Cuba and Venezuela do not need the region’s assistance to defend themselves; the CARICOM countries have mature relations with both countries, in the same way that the USA do with some countries such as Saudie Arabia, which is not known as a democracy, but based upon their own national interests regarding the security of energy.
2) Cuba is assisting Guyana on education and the eradication of poverty, in addition to the works being carried out by Cuban doctors in the health sector.
3) Cuba has provided scholarships to train various students in the fields of medicine, and if Guyana had to send these same students to the USA it would have costed the Guyanese Government approximately US$ 70 millions annually. If Cuba decides to not carry out its program of medical assistance to Haiti, Guyana’s health sector would collapse, for which it was asked: “Is there any similar assistance being provided by the USA and the developed world? No”.
4) With the signing of the Petrocaribe Agreement, Guyana will save US$ 45 million yearly, in virtue of the concessional terms that this contemplates, savings that would improve the country’s balance of payments. Jagdeo’s opinion on this confirms the excellent relations that currently exist between Venezuela and Guyana.
On the other hand, President Jagdeo, in a press conference expressed that he could not say that the CARICOM-USA Conference was a complete success and that he would prefer to put his opinion on hold on the grounds of the actions that may be taken in the future from agreements adopted in the Joint Declaration.
The relations between Guyana and India date from 1838, when the first group of immigrants arrived in Guyana in two ships, the Hesperus and the Whitby. The relations were made official in 1966, when Guyana became an independent country.
The Embassy of Guyana in New Delhi was closed ten years ago for budgetary reasons. Nevertheless the Indian Government maintained its Embassy open in Guyana. The current Guyanese Government made the decision to reopen its Embassy in India in light of the strengthening of ties experienced between both countries, and to such effect the Ex Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj was designated as Ambassador of the Republic of Guyana in this country, position which he assumed in October 2005.
These relations surged through the signing of various agreements, such as the Cultural Agreement (1974); the Economic and Scientific Cooperation Agreement (1977); the Agreement for Cooperation between the Institute of Science and Technology of Guyana and the Science and Industrial Investigation Council. Likewise Guyana benefits from sending about 15 to 35 students yearly to India, to be trained at the Institute of Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC).
In 1977 an Agreement was signed between the National Institute of Agricultural Investigation (NATI) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Investigation, with the objective of providing cooperation to Guyana assigned to improve areas such as the cultivation of rice, as well as sugar cane, vegetables, tropical fruits and mushroom.
The Guyanese Government also received financial aid from India for the construction of the cricket stadium, which enabled Guyana to host various Cricket World Cup games, held in March 2007. Similarly, the Government of India granted GY$15 millions in medical supplies, under the framework of the floods that took place in January 2005.
On the other hand, with the aim of improving and amplifying trade and economic interaction between Guyana and India, the Guyana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and its Indian counterpart decided to create a Joint Business Commission, which held regular meeting with the purpose of analizing the potentialities that this country’s markets have to offer and to increase the interchange. In this sense, Guyanese members of this Commission visited India to identify products that could be exported to Guyana, whereas the refered Commission is examining specific areas of investments in Guyana, in particular, to explore areas relative to the processing of diamonds, the technology of information and hydroelectric energy.
The main Indian exports to Guyana are: spices, sports articles, footwear and leather items, medicines, machinery, metal products, cotton, fabrics, plastics and linoleum products, paper and wood, transport equipments, garments, accessories, cosmetics, toiletries and rubber products.
The Vicepresident of India, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, under the framework of his Oficial Visit to Guyana, for three days made on the 6th of November 2006, inaugurated the new Cricket stadium, financed by India. The Vicepresident headed the High Level delegation integrated by 65 memebers. This visit had as main objective to intensify the bilateral relations between both countries, to which meetings were held with President Bharrat Jagdeo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rudolph Insanally and others high officials. From this visit resulted the signing of four cooperation agreements:
1) Agreement for the Cultural Exchenge Program, for the period 2007 and 2009, under the framework of the Cultural Agreement signed between both countries in 1974.
2) Agreement for the establishment of the Center of Information and Advising “Rabindranauth Tagore” (the Indian Nobel Prize of Literature in 1913), located at the Turkeyen Campus of the University of Guyana, to which official opening atented Vicepresident Shekhawat.
3) Agreement for the remunerated employment of the families of diplomats accredited in both countries, proposed by Guyana.
4) Agreement on the line of concesional credit of US$ 2.1 millions for the installation of stop lights powered with solar energy in Georgetown, signed between the Minister of Finance of Guyana and Bank Exim of India.
The bilateral relations of Guyana with Russia settled down in 1970 with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which were very important during the administration of Burham. At the moment these relations are warm but without no political meaning although note that both governments have interest in fortifying them and undertaking joint economic and commercial initiatives, mainly as a result of Visita of State that President Jagdeo made to Moscow in 2003. In that sense, the Russian investment in the local bauxite industry stands out, through the company RUSAL, which has privatized in Guyana one of the most important companies bauxite extractors (Company Bauxite of Guyana (BCGI) and has invested several million dollars, turning it one of the few countries that refined bauxite produces to use in airships or the industry of the construction. Thanks to these investments every year provide to Russia two million tons of bauxite, it bases enough high for Russia, and also for Guyana. Another important subject was the company/signature in an agreement between both countries by means of which Russia reduces the 98,32% of the debt contracted by Guyana. This reduction of the debt, like it happened with other European countries, is based on an Agreement that Guyana with the Club of Paris of January of 2004 signed, and includes the main debt, the delays and I interest won until 1º of December of 2003. The rest of the debt, whose amount is of USS 277.939.31, will be paid in 18 years, with a period of grace of a year, to the interest rate of the market. In commercial matter, at the moment Guyana exports seafood to Russia and is programs of scholarships to study in Russia that benefit guyaneses students.
The 29 of January of 2007, President Bharrat Jagdeo traveled again in official visit to Russia to maintain a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, in whose opportunity both agent chief executives discussed on the perspective of development of the political dialogue, the bilateral economic-commercial cooperation, the adjustment of the debt of Guyana before the Russian Federation, dedicating special attention to the execution of joint economic projects in diverse scopes, including the industry of aluminum. In this opportunity, conversations with the owner of RUSAL, Oleg Deripaska were carried out, on diverse subjects concerning the bauxite operation, and the market of the same one, which is being undermined by the Chinese bauxite, as well as to other subjects, which brought like consequence the company/signature of a Letter of Intencio'n (LOI), contentiva of three points, by means of which company RUSAL is committed to consider the execution of the following projects:
1) Construir an aluminum plant.
2) Construir a furnace of aluminum smelting.
3) Construir a hydroelectric plant in the area of the Mazaruni Stop, for which, by the way, it is anticipated to initiate the study of viability in March of 2007. In that sense, it is necessary to make pursuit to this subject, every time the referred hydroelectric plant would be located in the Zone in Claim, and would be necessary to evaluate if this type of development could be accepted by the Venezuelan State, as well as the implications that could have to future for our claim.
The relations between Guyana and Surinam are impregnated by the border problem that exists between both nations, although is a great interchange by the proximity, the physical connection and the guyanesa population that live in that country, aside from membresía of both to the CARICOM.
The border controversy was put under by Guyana the Court the International of the Right of the Sea in Hamburg, which published the 17 of September of 2007, a denominated sentence "I render", that it defines until where the sovereignty arrives from each one of the parts. In agreement with the appreciation of President Jagdeo this Laudo is beneficial for Guyana, which offers the possibility of exploring the potential petroleum reserves that are created exist in the region that was adjudged to him through the opinion at issue. Upon that sense, it agrees to make pursuit to the concessions that will be granted to companies for the oil operation in this zone, by the implications that this could have on the border dispute that exists between Guyana and Venezuela.
Guyana supports the concept of regional integration. An important paper in the foundation of (CARICOM) Guyana has played has looked for to maintain its foreign policy closely aligned with the CARICOM consensus, specially in its votings in the International UN, O.A.S. and other organizations.
The President guyanés has expressed that the only form to fortify the capacity of the region to compete globally, consists of developing policies to fortify the enterprise culture with the purpose of operating of more suitable way the opportunities of business and commerce; to adjust the macroeconomics; to continue improving the environmental policy; to persecute aggressively the expansion of the markets and to focus in the human resource and the support to the public service.
The fact that President Jagdeo presides over the Agricultural Commission of CARICOM, has given leadership him to the country in agricultural matter, reason for which Georgetown has been host of several tie events with the subject, among them, emphasizes a meeting of Ministers of Agriculture, that it had like intention to altogether consider the measures that are due to take to correct the problems that the agricultural sector faces, as well as to as much propose recommendations on agricultural projects that would have to be implemented, at national level as regional. Another important event was the encounter that was carried out in this capital, in which they participated representing communitarian in the governmental agricultural sector and the banking sector, with the purpose of demonstrating to the bankers who are feasible and viable to invest in the agricultural sector of the countries that conform the Caribbean region. The idea of President Jagdeo to summon both meetings was to prepare an Initiative to fortify the regional agriculture, to object of which it contributes to the regional economy and that results in a diminution in the food import from outside the region, which was approved and is in phase of implementation.
In Georgetown also is the seat of the CARIFORUM, regional organism in charge of administering the projects financed by the European Union, most of which they are directed to activities related to the management of catastrophes, the medio.ambiente, and the fight against the drug traffic. This organism is integrated by the states members of the CARICOM, Dominican Republic and overseas territories of the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom.
From 1975, the relations between Europe and the countries of the CARIFORUM been had prevailed by the four conventions of Lomé (capital of Togo) ' subscribed successively between group the ACP (countries of Asia, the Caribbean and Pacific), and the European Union, that legitimizaban estatus preferential that traditionally has occurred him to this group of nations in the policy of development of Europe. These conventions were cooperation agreements the North-South between the countries members of the then European Community and the countries of Sub-Sahara Africa, the members of CARICOM and the islands of the Pacific, all old European colonies, last of which it was replaced by the Agreement of Association between seventy countries the ACP and the States members of the UE, subscribed in Cotonú (Benín), the 23 of June of 2000, which offer a preferential and nonreciprocal access to products of countries the ACP in the market of the European Community, without quantitative restrictions stops most of the goods. This Agreement must review every five years, and thus it was made in 2005.
In the Agreement of Cotonú the Agreements of of Economic Association emanate (EPA, by its abbreviations in English), which are the instrument that will govern the economic relations of these countries, being these agreements of free commerce which they include a financial dimension of aid for the development and investment, compatible with the World-wide Organization of Comercio (OMC). In that sense, the negotiations between CARIFORUM and the UE to subscribe Agreements EPA were sent officially in Kingston, Jamaica, day 16 of April of 2004, and concluded the 16 of December of 2007, granting to the exports of the CARIFORUM countries preferential and nonreciprocal access to the markets of the UE, whose use finalized the 31 of December of 2007, of there the enormous importance of the company/signature of such to few days of that date limit.
According to Agreements EPA, from the 1 of January of 2008, all products CARIFORUM - with the temp exception for the rice and the sugar they will have right to enter to the free UE of tariffs and quotas, constituting itself in the first group of the ACP that obtains a comprehensive agreement that also covers not only goods but commercial services, investments and other subjects such as innovation and intellectual property.
Negotiations of EPA were very expanded, in individual because countries the ACP had fear before it threaten of which such they left defenseless to his agriculturists, whose sector is fundamental in the region of the Caribbean, before the disloyal competition of subsidized products of the UE. However, these States were forced to sign them, since employees of the communitarian aid are countries very.
International and multilateral organisms to which Guyana belongs:
Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (the ACP), Community of the Caribbean (CARICOM); British Mancomunidad; Development bank of the Caribbean (CDB); World Bank (BM); Inter-American Development Bank (I.A.D.B.); South American community of Nations (CSN); Organization for Agriculture and the Feeding (the FAO); Grupo 77; Group of River; Inter-American Development Bank (I.A.D.B.); Bank the International for the Reconstruction and the Development (BIRD); Organization of Aviacio'n Civil Internacional (OACI); International committee of Weights and Medidas (CIPO); Association the International of Promotion (the AIF); Bottom the International for the Development of Agriculture; Financial Corporation The International (CFI); Committee the International of the Red Cross (CICR); Organization the International of Trabajo (OIT); International Monetary Fund (the IMF); Marine Organization The International (OMI); Organization the International of Polici'a Criminal (INTERPOL); Olympic Committee The International (HAMMOCK); Organization the International for Migraciones (OIM) (observant); Organization the International of Normalizacio'n (OIN); Union the International of Telecomunicaciones (UIT);Union Confederation The International (CSI); Multilateral agency of Guarantee of Inversiones (MIGA); Movement Not aligned (MNO); Organization of American States (O.A.S.);Organization of Conferencia Isla'mica (OCI); Organization for the Proscripción of the Nuclear weapons in Latin America (OPANAL); Organization for the Prohibition of Armas Qui'micas (OPAQ); The United Nations (the UN); The United Nations on Comercio and the Development (the UNCTAD); The United Nations for the Education, Science and the Culture (UNESCO); The United Nations for Desarrollo Industrial (ONUDI); Universal Postal Union (UPU); World-wide organization of Aduanas (OMA), World-wide Union Federation (FSM); World-wide organization of the Health (the WHO); World-wide organization of Propiedad Internacional (OMPI); World-wide Meteorological organization (OMM) and World-wide Organization of Turismo (OMT).