CA$350M in trade recorded between Guyana and Canada in 2023

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana Mark Berman and his wife sharing a toast with Prime Minister Mark Phillips and Foreign Minister Hugh Todd during the recent reception

Guyana and Canada continue to strengthen their business and diplomatic relationship with over CAD$300 million worth of trade being recorded between the two countries last year.

This is according to Canada’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Mark Burman, who, in observance of 157th Canada Day, delved into the two countries’ trade relationship.

The long trade relationship between Guyana and Canada goes back to 1966, when Guyana gained independence, as Canada was one of the first countries to develop a relationship with Guyana.

The two countries have since established a mutually beneficial trade partnership. In this regard, Canadian High Commissioner Burman lauded the deep trade relations between the two countries, and noted that it is poised to be improved drastically in the coming years.

He highlighted that in 2023, trade figures between the two countries reached some CAD$350 million, and declared at the 157th Anniversary Reception of Canada’s Confederation, hosted by the Canadian Embassy in Guyana at the Pegasus Suites and Corporate Centre on Thursday evening, “Canada continues to be a reliable partner in many lines of business, including agriculture, energy, education and infrastructure, just to name a few. With regard to trade in 2023, bilateral trade figures reached almost $350 million. These numbers, whilst showing an opportunity for further growth, have been driven by our shared commitment to economic development.”

Moreover, the High Commissioner highlighted that the mining industry has been a key pillar in the Guyana-Canada economic relationship. As such, he revealed that the Canadian Government has been eying the Guyanese mining industry, and that several Canadian mining companies are currently investing in the country.

According to him, “The mining sector remains a cornerstone of our economic relationship. Canadian mining companies have invested heavily in Guyana, contributing to the development of local infrastructure and communities. Just recently, Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh announced that Guyana’s greenstone belt will eventually be home to four producing mines by 2026, all of which are Canadian mines.”

Additionally, the High Commissioner highlighted that the Canadian Government is committed to helping Guyana obtain its economic and social development goals. Canada has contributed some CAD$9.5 million to the Office of the President’s One Guyana Digital Initiative to train 2000 young Guyanese in the emerging digital skills technology sector.

Canada is also supporting the local education sector through its CAD$19M Skills to Access the Green Economy TVET training project, supporting the modernisation of the services offered by the New Amsterdam Technical Institute and other institutions across Guyana.

Moreover, in 2022, Guyana exported $454M to Canada. The main products exported from Guyana to Canada were gold ($164M), hard liquor ($26.3M), and aluminium ore ($12M).

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips emphasised at the reception the enduring partnership between Guyana and Canada. He outlined the multifaceted relationship between the two nations, and touched on diaspora connections, shared values, economic cooperation, mutual respect, and joint efforts in addressing global challenges.

Prime Minister Phillips spoke about the significant Guyanese diaspora in Canada, and underscored how these personal connections have strengthened the bond between the two countries.

He added that the countries have a shared commitment to international principles and to maintaining peace and stability in the hemisphere, including through strengthened Caricom-Canada relations.

He stressed the countries’ commitment to environmental stewardship, praised Canada’s leadership in global climate initiatives, and reaffirmed Guyana’s “commitment to enriching the bilateral relations between our two countries, and to leveraging the opportunities for mutual benefit which lie ahead.”