Guyana,China ink agreement to further expand health care, transport, training and culture


-during Eleventh Session for the Guyana/China Joint Commission
GUYANA’S fruitful bilateral relations with the People’s Republic of China were further strengthened yesterday with the signing of agreements to boost priority projects in the areas of transportation, health care, training and culture.
The inking of the agreements by Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh, and China’s Assistant Commerce Minister Li Rongcan was part of the Eleventh Session for the Guyana/China Joint Commission on Economic Trade and Technical Cooperation.
The event at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GICC), Greater Georgetown, also saw the participation of China’s Ambassador to Guyana Hu Wenzhe; Chief Executive Officer, National Communications Network, Mohammad Sattaur; and other key government functionaries and a Chinese delegation.
Minister Rodrigues-Birkett, addressing the delegation, pointed out that through a joint commission, the two countries have been able to concretise measures to promote programmes of functional cooperation.
This year marks the 27th Anniversary of the Guyana/China Joint Commission, and according to the Foreign Affairs Minister, the sustained exchange over the years has given added impetus to collaboration at economic and technical levels.
During the meeting, the agreements signed between the two government’s were priority projects agreed upon during the last Joint Commission held in Beijing, China, three years ago.
“There have been tangible benefits for Guyana manifested in several projects in more recent years, the modernisation of the sugar factory at Skeldon and the construction of this modern international conference centre (GICC) at which we are now meeting ,” she said.
“These projects will have a significant impact on the lives of our people in the building of capacity in the training of our young people at institutions in various disciplines; the deputation of doctors to enhance the delivery of our health sector programmes and senior volunteers to share their expertise in certain key departments of government,” Minister Rodrigues-Birkett explained.
She explained that the industrial sector will also benefit from the Guyana Power and Light Project, while a ferry vessel, which is expected to become operational before the end of this year, will significantly enhance the transport sector.
While noting that the consistent substantial contribution from China towards Guyana’s national development remains a tangible one, Minister Rodrigues-Birkett stated that it also demonstrates south/south cooperation and the country’s unwavering commitment to supporting small developing states.
“This commitment is further demonstrated by the fact that despite China’s rapid economic growth and becoming the world’s second largest economy, it continues to be a real partner with the developing world in the Group of 77 and China, as we search for practical solutions to the many challenges facing small states,” she said.
As government intensifies its efforts in achieving higher economic growth, food security, promotion of information communication and technology, and increased trade and investment, efforts will also be made to address additional areas for cooperation.
While conveying government’s gratitude for China’s longstanding support over the years, the foreign minister reaffirmed government’s continued commitment to the Guyana/China partnership.
Minister Li Rongcan, adding that the visit was to assess the current economic and trade cooperation between China and Guyana, stated that new opportunities for future cooperation will also be explored.
Ideas were also exchanged on the hosting of the 3rd China/Caribbean Trade and Economic Cooperation forum to be held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, later this year.
“I will also be signing a document, a three million RMB grant provided by the Chinese Government to the Guyana Government for the agreed project between the two countries, while another document will also be signed for the dispatch of 70 volunteers,” Minister Li Rongcan said.
At the end of the session, the functionaries also signed the exchange of note on government’s ‘One Laptop Per Family’ project which will pave the way for 90,000 households to each benefit from a laptop computer.
Minister Li Rongcan said the Chinese Government is committed to the friendly relations with Guyana; and as such, is willing to provide further aid within its means. He also assured the Guyana Government of continued investment by Chinese businesses in Guyana.
“The Ministry of Commerce in China is willing to work with Guyana Government and all walks of life in your country, to push forward the trade and economic cooperation between our two countries,” he said.
In 1972, Guyana and China established diplomatic ties and to date its bilateral relations have witnessed steady development. (GINA)