Corentyne River Bridge: Supervisory tendering process, drafting of Joint Agreement to start

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
President Dr Irfaan Ali and his Surinamese counterpart, President Chandrikapersad Santokhi, along with their respective teams of ministers met on Saturday to continue discussions on the Corentyne River Bridge

See below for a Joint Statement by Suriname and Guyana following strategic dialogue between the two presidents: 

Head of State of the Republic of Suriname, H.E. Chandrikapersad Santokhi and Head ofState of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, H.E. Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, met onSaturday 23rd March, 2024 at Soesdyke, Guyana for follow-up discussions regarding thebuilding of a bridge over the Corantijn/Corentyne River.

Both Presidents were accompanied by their respective Ministers of Foreign Affairs, ofFinance and of Public Works, who over the past months have engaged in intensiveconsultations regarding the technical and financial aspects of this initiative.

Following this process of internal and bilateral consultations between Guyana andSuriname and the recommendations received, careful consideration was given to theproposed way forward, taking into account political, domestic and international elementsas well.

Both Presidents reaffirmed the importance of this fixed connection between their twoneighboring countries in the broader context of South American connectivity, as part ofthe overall objective of regional integration and trilateral cooperation between Suriname,Guyana and Brazil.

Presidents Santokhi and Ali welcomed the expressions of satisfaction of the President ofthe Federative Republic of Brazil, H.E. Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, during the recently heldtrilateral summit in Guyana with regard to the earmarked bridge over theCorantijn/Corentyne River.

From a bilateral perspective, the Presidents of Suriname and Guyana acknowledged theimportance of the historical and friendly relations between the peoples and governmentsof both countries. It was further recognized that at the current time, both countries standon the verge of becoming major players in terms of energy and food security in this region.

The building of the fixed connection between the two neighboring nations willundoubtedly enhance the flow of people, strengthen agricultural cooperation, facilitatetrade and investment and promote tourism, thereby adding in a diversified way to theeconomic growth that is expected to provide sustainable prosperity to both theSurinamese and Guyanese populations.

The Presidents instructed the responsible team of Ministers to enter the next stage of thisproject by engaging in discussions in relation to terms of pricing, technical aspects,financing and operational modalities with the shared objective of optimizing onaffordability and concessionality.

Experts of both countries will also jointly work towards a political and legal framework,start the supervisory tendering process, and drafting of the agreement regarding theultimate board that will jointly manage the bridge.

Clear timelines for finalization of these activities have been set. The mentioned team ofthree ministers on each side will continue their work to lead these negotiations and datagathering, as well as monitor the progress and report regularly to the Heads of State ofboth Governments.

President Santokhi and President Ali agreed to convene the Strategic Dialogue andCooperation Platform (SDCP) in early May 2024 to broaden the consultations to includeother pending relevant areas of strategic importance on the agenda between the twocountries.