China’s status as a valued partner in Guyana’s development was on Monday underscored at a China-Guyana investment opportunities seminar, where it was revealed that trade between the two countries for the first half of the year, totalled US$950 million.
During the seminar, Vice Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Zhang Shaogang further revealed that of that total figure, Guyana’s exports to China accounted for US$720 million. The US$950 million is, in fact, an over 200 per cent increase in trade between the two countries.
“In 2021, the trade volume between our two countries reached US$710 million… in the first six months of this year, bilateral trade US$950 million, a growth of 224 per cent, among which China imported US$720 million from Guyana, a growth of 459.9 per cent,” he said.
Meanwhile, referencing the multitude of projects, past, present and future, that Guyana has been embarking on, Minister of Tourism, Industry, and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond described China as a valued partner in Guyana’s development. During her presentation at the China-Guyana investment seminar, Walrond listed some of the myriad investment opportunities and upcoming projects being spearheaded by the Government.
“As you know, we are already in negotiation with Chinese companies with respect to the construction of the new bridge across the Demerara River… we are proceeding with plans for the establishment of Silica City along the Soesdyke-Linden Highway. This is to be a modern planned city and its realisation will require significant infrastructure investment.”
“We had a successful bidder for the Linden to Mabura Hill and the Georgetown to Lethem Road. And the remaining segments of the Mabura Hill to Lethem is one of the projects on our agenda. That road, of course, will be linked to a deep-water port which of itself is a major undertaking,” Walrond explained.
Another investment opportunity Walrond referenced is the development of a high-end all-inclusive resort. According to the Minister, this project will be specific to the tourism sector and will be highly incentivised by the Government.
She also spoke of other past and ongoing projects, such as the upgrade of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), the construction of a high-speed Long-Term Evolution (LTE) 4G network and road upgrades such as the Sheriff-Mandela Road upgrade.
“As we look to the future with our development plans and programmes, we believe that there is substantial scope for deepening the cooperation between our two countries. Government is actively pursuing a transformational development programme in which major infrastructural work will be required.
Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) Chief Executive Officer, Dr Peter Ramsaroop also lauded the trade relations between the two countries, while also going into further details on the investment opportunities Guyana has to offer.
“We will continue to work with companies from China, to offer incentives to Guyana and to build the relationship between Government, private sector and the China companies. Our honourable Minister has described some of our larger national projects that are continuing in our country. And that will continue to attract larger investments from China,” Ramsaroop said.
“We are excited to continue that relationship. There have been significant investments in Guyana from China, and we are looking forward to building stronger relationships in many of our projects coming up,” Ramsaroop said.
Among the pitches that Ramsaroop made to Chinese investors, was for a glass factory and an aluminium plant that would utilise Guyana’s rich bauxite resource. And with an upcoming deep-water port, he noted the potential for Guyana to serve as a transhipment point for Chinese trade with Northern Brazil.
This year marks 45 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Guyana and China. In fact, Guyana was the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to do so. The seminar was a joint effort between the China Chamber of International Commerce in collaboration with the CCPIT and the Chinese Embassy in Guyana.