After two days of productive engagements between Guyana and Suriname, led by Presidents Irfaan Ali and Chandrikapersad Santokhi, the two governments have agreed on the model for the construction of the Corentyne Bridge aimed at connecting the two countries and increasing transport and trade.
At joint press conference on Thursday in Georgetown, President Ali said the two countries are excited to choose from the shortlisted companies who have submitted expressions of interest.
While that pends, Guyana and Suriname have agreed that the approach will be one that allows for the designing, building, financing, ownership and operation model.
The two countries have also agreed that a working group would be established to determine the investment and concession package that would accompany the expression of interest.
Back in June, seven months after finalising the agreement for the construction of a bridge that would connect the two countries, Guyana and Suriname had shortlisted some eight of 38 companies that have submitted expressions of interest.
Those companies were asked for their price offers.
The agencies, which have already applied come from different parts of the world, including the United States of America, China, Spain, Brazil, France, Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy, Trinidad and Tobago, Korea, Guyana and the Netherlands.
The offers are expected no later than September 16, 2021, after which they will be assessed by the joint evaluation committee.
President Santokhi said this will take place within the next week. “This decision must be made within four weeks,” he said during Thursday’s joint press conference.
“We are in support of an integrated approach to the development of the west of Suriname and the east of Guyana,” President Santokhi added.
He said from this perspective the bridge will become extremely important.
The Corentyne River Bridge, once completed, opens up great possibilities for trade and cross border cooperation.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ali said he two delegations led by the Heads-of-State also discussed air and maritime transportation.
He said there was agreement on a number of issues raised by the private sector in removing hurdles and impediments to allow for smoother air travel and greater reliability of the ferry service between Guyana and Suriname.
President Santokhi assured that the ferry service will return to full service within days following the certification and release of the vessel to ply the route.
The construction of the bridge is part of a larger plan between the two governments to sync its economies to bring benefits to the peoples of both countries.