Guyana, UAE strengthen relations
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President Dr. Irfaan Ali looks on as Senior Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh exchanges the MoU with UAE Minister of International Cooperation, Her Excellency Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimy (Office of the President photo)
President Dr. Irfaan Ali looks on as Senior Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh exchanges the MoU with UAE Minister of International Cooperation, Her Excellency Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimy (Office of the President photo)

— sign technical assistance and cooperation agreement

— food security, climate change, infrastructure and revision of visa policy among areas discussed

FOOD security, climate change, technology, environment, infrastructure and revision of the visa policy that exists for travels to and from Guyana and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were among a number of areas of technical cooperation discussed between President Dr. Irfaan Ali and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the UAE on Thursday.

According to a press statement issued by the Office of the President following the discussion, President Ali and His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to advance closer technical cooperation between the two counties.

During the meeting held at the UAE Pavilion at the Expo, President Ali expressed gratitude to the UAE Foreign Minister as well as his colleague Minister of International Cooperation, Her Excellency Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimy, who also served as Managing-Director for the iconic Expo2020 Dubai.

“We came with a clear intention to extend the foundation of the relationship that we want to grow and expand for the betterment of both the UAE and Guyana,” President Ali said during the engagement.

President, Dr Irfaan Ali and His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates in discussion in the presence of their respective delegations (Office of the President photo)

He explained that since arriving in Dubai, Guyana’s delegation has engaged in discussions with many agencies, including the Abu Dhabi Ports. These engagements, according to President Ali, is an indication of Guyana’s success at the Expo.

Outside of the commitments already made, the press release disclosed that several additional engagements have already been planned for the coming months to advance discussions in technical cooperation in a number of areas.

STRENGTHEN BILATERAL RELATIONS
During the discussions, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan assured the Guyanese President of the UAE’s support to strengthen bilateral relations. The two countries also committed to setting a tangible results-based agenda moving forward, the press release noted.

Immediately following the discussions, a MoU was inked to advance closer technical cooperation between the UAE and Guyana. The document was signed by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh and his UAE counterpart, Minister Reem Al-Hashimy.

In addition to Minister Singh, the meeting was also attended by the Non-Resident Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Guyana, Saleh Ahmad Salem Alzaraim Alsuwaidi and Ambassador and Presidential Assistant and Personal envoy to Greece, the Middle East and Africa, George Hallaq.

Additionally, President Ali accompanied by Minister Singh also met with officials of the UAE’s ‘Elite Agro’, one of the largest producers of fresh fruits and vegetables, to discuss investment opportunities in Guyana’s agricultural sector.

These meetings are happening on the sidelines of Dubai’s iconic Expo2020, which has seen Guyana being given much prominence; aside from having its own pavilion, the expo also featured a spectacular ‘Guyana Day’ celebration.

INVESTMENT HUB
Speaking at the opening of the ‘Guyana Day’ cultural show, the Head of State was keen on marketing Guyana as an investment hub, boasting of its potential in all areas, including eco-tourism, agriculture, energy and many others.

In a very descriptive speech, the President was able to give insight into all the things that Guyana has to offer. “Guyana is set to become a leading oil and gas producer, an energy powerhouse, a bastion of food security, a prime destination for sustainable tourism, and a regional information communications technology hub,” Dr. Ali boasted.

He noted, however, that in order to convert the country’s abundant resources into wealth, and to further translate that wealth into human prosperity, investments are needed. He gave the assurance too that the government is keen on attracting investments across all sectors to drive the country’s transformative agenda. “I invite you all to come and do business in my country. We welcome you; we have an open economy, and with investor-friendly policies in place, including attractive incentive regimes, laws which protect the right to property, and which also allows freedom to repatriate profits,” Dr. Ali posited.

He emphasised that Guyana is a win-win destination for investors, as the country is on an irreversible growth trajectory, with a rapidly expanding economy, and a wealth of sectors with the capacity and potential for expansion, and new resources to support it all.

“If we speak about world food production, environmental services, world-class eco-tourism, freshwater potential, mining opportunities, research and development, human transformation, health and educational services, I assure you Guyana will be an important part of that conversation,” President Ali had stressed.

He went further to highlight Guyana’s unique geographic location, which provides investors simultaneous access to both Caribbean and South American markets. President Ali is expected to wrap up his Dubai engagements and return to Guyana by next week.

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