By Kurt Campbell
China says Guyana’s economic boom, fuelled by its nascent oil and gas sector, has resulted in a doubling of bilateral trade in the last two years.
According to the newest data, bilateral trade volume between China and Guyana in 2021 was US$710 million, an increase of 23.7 per cent when compared to 2020.
In 2020, the exchange of goods between two nations while promoting trade and investment stood at US$570 million increasing by 78.9 per cent (almost doubled) compared to 2019.
China’s Ambassador to Guyana Guo Haiyan said it is “because of the boom of the Guyanese economy.”
In recent years there has been an exponential expansion of Chinese-owned and operated businesses in Guyana but more importantly, imports have grown.
Chinese investors, Ms Guo said, are now interested in Guyana but have concerns with investment sustainability, friendly local economy, and the availability of modern infrastructure.
The Ambassador pointed to China’s contribution to the improvement of infrastructure with ongoing works at MovieTowne and on the new Pegasus hotel.
Chinese companies also worked on the Sheriff/Mandela Road project and recently won the bids for the New Demerara River Crossing and the Amaila Falls Hydro Power project.
“After I arrived here, I realise that some Chinese companies were granted the first right of negotiations and many more are interested in markets here.
“Chinese companies have a growing interest in investing in Guyana,” Ambassador Guo told the News Room during a recent interview.
These exchanges are also fuelled by the ongoing government-to-government discussions under the Belt and Road Initiative.
According to the Ambassador, President Irfaan Ali and China’s Xi Jinping had a phone conversation last year during which they discussed strengthening cooperation in several agreed including trade.
The two countries will look to find ways to reduce or eliminate tariffs, import quotas, export restraints, and other trade barriers to encourage trade and investment.