-visiting EU official says
DEPUTY Secretary-General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Helena König, has said that Guyana has seen impressive economic growth which provides opportunities to lift the country’s people out of poverty.
König made these remarks on Thursday evening at a reception which was held in her honour. She was on her two-day visit to Guyana during which she met with several members of the government and was involved in discussions on a wide range of topics.
König said that the economic growth seen can provide significant opportunities for Guyanese. While she noted that the newly found wealth of oil and gas brings along challenges and risks, the European Union (EU) stands ready to accompany Guyana on the dynamic journey.
While adding that Guyana’s recent growth is based on oil-and-gas reserves, she said it is obvious that the country is striving to have a diversified economy.
Against this backdrop, she stated that the EU also has a number of programmes to support Guyana in this regard, in sectors such as agriculture and the sustainable management of forests, be it production, processing or export.
To this end, she stated that while the Caribbean is an obvious export market for Guyanese products and produce, Europe should not be forgotten as the European Union is the third biggest single market in the world.
Meanwhile, König went on to add that since her arrival in Guyana, she engaged in discussions on climate change, forest partnerships, food security, trade, connectivity, digitization and even pharmaceutical cooperation.
She said: “My meetings in Guyana have been meetings with friends that share similar values, including democracy and [the] rule of law, human rights and human dignity, freedom and inclusiveness.”
The discussions also included the upcoming EU-CELAC summit in Brussels, which König noted will be a milestone in the relationship between the regions. Added to this she said, the EU is in the process of identifying a global gateway investment agenda for the region with key investment opportunities being identified for the summit.
As such, König noted that more collaboration between Guyana and the EU is to come. She indicated that there will soon be an EU Chamber of Commerce in Guyana.
During the her visit to Guyana, an initiative which will see the country receiving some €5 Million or GYD$1.1 billion to support alternative, sustainable income-generating activities in forest-dependent communities and reduce pressure on forest resources, was launched.
This project, according to her, is very important and is one that falls under the EU’s partnership for forest conservation and protection.
König emphasised that the partnership is vital to overcoming the rising challenges of climate change and energy sustainability.