Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh says the Government’s vision is to achieve a diverse and resilient economy.
The Minister was speaking on Saturday at a review meeting for the projects being facilitated by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The meeting which included newly elected CDB President, Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon and his delegation, was hosted at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
Minister Singh said, “it goes without saying that the extraction, production and export of oil promised the opportunity of a very significant transformation in Guyana. But we recognise with the abundance of examples around the world that becoming an oil and gas producer is by no means on its own an assurance of prosperity and long-term wellbeing for a country.
In fact, the world is replete with examples of countries that have discovered produced and exported oil but are yet to discover the prosperity that oil could beckon if it were, and if the broader economy were to be managed in the soundest possible manner.”
Dr. Singh said the Government has constantly iterated the importance of a robust, widely diversified economy, and a particularly competitive non-oil economy.
Despite the promise of prosperity, the Minister said the Government is under no illusion about the vulnerabilities faced by Guyana. He related the struggle the country has faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and flooding. The senior Minister also noted the wider effects of climate-related disasters on the Region.
Dr. Singh thanked the CDB for the contributions it has made to Guyana’s development, dubbing it an “outstanding partner”.
“I wish to say Mr. President that Guyana has always been a proud member and we are even more so now, a proud member of the CDB, and a very proud member of CARICOM, and a proud and staunch defender and advocate of the regional integration movement,” he told the CDB delegation.
Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill; Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar; Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal; Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues; and Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond were also part of the meeting.
During the afternoon, the CDB President was escorted to the locations of some projects the Bank has facilitated, on the East and West Bank of Demerara. Ministers Edghill and Croal led those expeditions.
Dr. Leon was also shown some of the infrastructural projects the Government is currently advancing.
The CDB President along with his delegation wrapped up a two-day visit, which is the first since he took up the post in May. Dr. Leon told DPI on Friday that similar visits will be made to other CDB member countries. (DPI)