Guyana’s neighbour Brazil, recognising that the new oil-producing country is poised for major transformational development in coming years, has committed once again to working with authorities here on major road, port and energy projects.
During a virtual briefing with Roraima Senator Chico Rodrigues on Tuesday, Brazil’s Minister of Economy Paulo Guedes said the country wants to make the long-touted road from Boa Vista to Georgetown a reality.
“It has 100% support from us,” he said.
Senator Rodrigues is seen as one of the main defenders of the road in the Brazilian Congress.
Guedes said himself and Senator Rodrigues will work with several regional and international financial institutions to construct the road.
These include BNDES, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the BRICS Banks.
“We want to bring all the resources to make these transcontinental infrastructures possible… we want the Boa Vista-Georgetown road, we want to do this together, we want this road we will support, we will take this funding internationally. This will lead to another route to the Atlantic and if you go left you route to Asia,” Minister Guedes said.
The road could serve as an alternative commercial route to transport production from the Manaus Free Trade Zone (ZFM) and reach the markets of North America, Europe and Asia and thus leverage the economy of Amazonas and Roraima.
As Senator Rodrigues explained, there is currently a great expectation that the road will be completed under President Jair Bolsonaro’s government by promoting integration between Amazonas, Roraima and the port of Georgetown.
During the live broadcast, the Brazilian Economy Minister said that Guyana will be the new Dubai of the hemisphere and that Brazil will assist in the road, port and energy collaboration.
“Guyana is the new Dubai from the region, let’s do it. It’s a two-way road, right? I mean it’s the Manaus Free Trade Zone going through this route and oil and energy combing back. We are together with you in this Roraima project and I always say this is going to have 100% support from the Government of Brazil.”
Guyana and Brazil have discussed constructing the road from Boa Vista to Georgetown for years, but nothing has yet materialized.
This project is also expected to put a port within easy striking distance from Boa Vista and would significantly reduce the time required to ship to and from Manaus.
The cost of building the road is high and though both countries stand to benefit, Brazil had previously indicated its intention to have access to a deepwater port.
The Guyana government had said in the past that it was seriously examining constructing a road from Manaus to Georgetown. The previous APNU+AFC government had indicated that China is expected to fund the project.
Guyana has since signed on to China’s Belt and Road initiative.