EAM meets Guyanese PM, co-chairs 5th India-Guyana Joint Commission meeting


New Delhi/Georgetown (Guyana), Apr 23 (UNI) – External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is visiting Guyana, called on Guyanese PM Mark Phillips and discussed cooperation in energy and defence as well as disaster resilience and preparedness.


He also co-chaired the 5th India-Guyana Joint Commission Meeting with Foreign Minister Hugh Todd, during which discussions were held in agriculture; energy, health, defence cooperation, and infra development.


The two sides witnessed the exchange of agreements in Migration and Mobility and Air Connectivity at the event.


Separately, he met with the Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir in Guyana’s Parliament, and also addressed the India-Guyana Business Round Table.


In a series of tweets, he posted:


“Glad to call on Prime Minister Mark Phillips of Guyana.


Discussed energy, disaster resilience & preparedness and defense cooperation.


India will partner Guyana in its developmental journey.”


On co-chairing the 5th India-Guyana Joint Commission Meeting, he wrote:


“Co-chaired the 5th India-Guyana Joint Commission Meeting with Foreign Minister Hugh Todd this afternoon.


“Comprehensive discussions in agriculture; energy; health & pharmaceuticals; ayurveda & wellness;defence cooperation; human resources;tech & innovation and infra development.


“Witnessed exchange of agreements in Migration and Mobility and Air Connectivity.


“Encouraged our officials to continue the close contacts and facilitate stronger business to business ties.”


On his meeting with the National Assembly Speaker he said:


“Met with Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir in Guyana’s Parliament.


“Our shared histories provide many traditions that bring us closer.”


On his attending the India-Guyana Business Round Table, he posted:


“Addressed the India-Guyana Business Round Table. Appreciate participation of Foreign Minister Hugh Todd, Finance Minister Ashni Singh & Public Works Minister Deodat Indar.


“The presence of a @FollowCII delegation is a reflection of India’s growing engagement with Latin America.


“In Guyana, cricket is never far away.


Good to meet Ramnaresh Sarwan and Steven Jacobs at the India-Guyana Business Round Table.”


He also paid a site visit to the East Bank-East Coast Road Linkage Project, which is being built in part with an Indian credit line.


“Delivered by India’ is a growing global infra reality.


Paid a site visit to the East Bank-East Coast Road Linkage Project along with Minister of Public Works Deodat Indar.


“Interacted with workers and senior staff. Impressed by their enthusiasm.”


Guyanese Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill and Indian High Commissioner K. J. Srinivasa signed an Air Services Agreement (ASA), which allows for easier travel between the two nations.


During his address at the business roundtable, EAM Jaishankar on Saturday said that the partnership between New Delhi and Georgetown has to be refreshed and oil and gas is clearly on the agenda.


He said that this is not just a normal business dialogue but rather one where the fastest-growing economy meets the fastest-growing major economy in the world.


“There is an enormous change actually taking place in both our economies and our societies. And the challenge for policymakers like us is how do we see that as an opportunity, how do we actually find the connects, the touch points and viability in the business case to make the best of it,” he said.


It follows closer bilateral ties after the visit of President Irfaan Ali and Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo in January and February, respectively.


“What was still perhaps a year ago, a smooth, non-controversial, friendly, pleasant, even business-like relationship was suddenly infused by a great sense of energy, a new sense of possibilities that connect at a leadership level, which encouraged so many of us to travel here.”


“As Guyana enters a new era. As it embarks on this very exciting journey on its quest for prosperity and development, there is a possibility that is with strong interest on India’s part to be a partner in this journey,” he added.


Guyanese Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Hugh Todd lauded these engagements as a reflection of proper inter-state policies.


“When you have policymakers and Heads of State working towards the upliftment of the people and understanding the way the world works, this is what it should look like. We have two nation-states, one from the East and one from the West, coming together through the forces of globalisation. So, we are taking a very small economy and connecting with now the world’s most populated economy – an economy that is big on endogenous growth,” Todd said.


“We’ve long argued that we also want to focus on the leadership provided by emerging from the developing world and India provides us with a very perfect example…It is a shining example of the way in which it was able to incentivise the private sector, becoming a technology hub of the world, exporting a lot of its human capital to the rest of the world,” the Guyanese minister added.


The business roundtable discussion saw participation from members of the Indian business community who had travelled to Georgetown and dozens from Guyana’s private sector. The session was held at the Atlantic Ballroom, New Pegasus Suites and Corporate Centre.


Guyana and India are expected to improve their ties with each other’s business community, as the two countries have set up an India-Guyana Chamber of Commerce (IGCC).


The IGCC’s aim is to build relationships in the private sector, while also focussing on cultural ties between India and Guyana.


EAM Jaishankar on Saturday visited the site of the East Bank-East Coast Road Linkage Project, being built at a cost of US$106,383,954, in part with an Indian credit line. He was accompanied by Guyanese Minister of Public Works, Deodat Indar and Indian High Commissioner K J Srinivasa.


Construction is being undertaken by Ashoka Buildcon Limited. Once completed, the main thoroughfare will accommodate four-lane traffic that stretches 7.7 km.
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