–Guyana-Saudi Fund agreement caters for critical infrastructural works in housing sector, construction of Wismar Bridge
–Infrastructure master plan taking shape – President Ali
SENIOR Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Saudi Fund for Development, Sultan A. Al-Marshad on Monday signed a US$150 million agreement for critical infrastructural works in Guyana’s housing sector and the construction of the Wismar Bridge in Region 10.
President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, during his address at the signing ceremony, said that the US$150 million not only provides funding for infrastructural works, but also provides permanent benefits for Guyana and its people.
“I want to say that the US$150 million is for housing, the Wismar Bridge and the infrastructure that surrounds all of this, but importantly, what it brings is not only a temporary benefit; these are projects that are temporary endeavours but with permanent results,” President Ali said.
He said that the construction of the Wismar Bridge is an essential project for the modernisation of the township, the advancement of the forestry sector, developments in the mining sector, and most importantly, it contributes to the infrastructure master plan of the country.
The Head of State related that the Government of Guyana has been consistently working on an infrastructure master plan.
He said he is pleased that the Saudi Fund for Development is in Guyana to see the master plan unfold, as authorities build a country that seeks to advance itself in a world of 2030 and beyond, which enables Guyana to be more competitive and have sustainable development.
Among other things, the master plan includes Silica City, new interconnecting highways, highways that would connect northern Brazil with Guyana, new bridges, and improvement of drainage and irrigation, to support Guyana’s food production goals.
In pursuit of those objectives, Guyana is also seeking to build new relationships and strengthen old ones, according to Dr. Ali.
The Head of State said that the government wants continued partnerships that would greatly help Guyana in its journey towards modernisation.
He spoke about the tremendous private sector investment opportunities, and said that Guyana would like to see the private sector of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia actively participate in the opportunities and actively build partnerships with Guyana’s local private sector.
This would create more opportunities, and help locals to build their capacity and capability to provide not only services for the oil and gas sector, but also services for all the other sectors that are gaining momentum in Guyana.
The agreement with the Saudi Fund for Development is one such initiative that ensures that the momentum continues.
Al-Marshad said the agreement is the Saudi Fund for Development’s first funding initiative in Guyana. The South American country is the 88th nation to receive funding for major development projects.
He said that this project reflects Saudi Arabia’s commitment to promote sustainable social economic development in Guyana, and support local communities through enhanced transportation and housing infrastructure.
The CEO related that the first project worth US$100 million involves infrastructural development works for the housing sector, and aims to respond to the growing population demand by developing infrastructure to provide 2,500 housing units across three different regions in Guyana.
Among other benefits, the project will help to stimulate the local economy through the creation of direct and indirect job opportunities in the housing sector.
Meanwhile, the second project worth US$50 million is for the construction of the Wismar Bridge, which will contribute to improved connectivity and flow of transportation in Guyana, relieving traffic jams and enhancing road safety.