Guyana is UK’s top trade partner in Caribbean, British Chamber of Commerce could be launched here
Guyana is now the United Kingdom’s top trading partner in the Caribbean, British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller announced on Thursday evening.
She also noted that the UK is exploring the possibility of establishing a British Chamber of Commerce in Guyana.
The High Commissioner made the announcement during the Queen’s platinum jubilee birthday celebration held at the British High Commissioner’s residence at Bel Air Gardens, Georgetown.
According to the UK diplomat, trade between the two countries increased sixfold in the last ten years, reflecting strengthening economic partnership.
In 2021, the total trade between the UK and Guyana stood at 560 million pounds.
“This represents 21.6 per cent of all trade between the UK and the Caribbean, making Guyana the UK’s largest trade partner with the Caribbean,” the British High Commissioner stated.
It must be noted that in 2011, the total trade between the countries amounted to 94 million pounds.
“So, the trade has expanded six times in the last ten years,” the High Commissioner said, noting that there are enormous opportunities for further growth.
Earlier this year, a British Trade Mission visited Guyana where a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was inked between the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and the Caribbean Council.
The High Commissioner said to foster more opportunities, there will be more trade missions this year.
“The feedback I have had from businesses after the trade mission, was amazing, so many opportunities and we expect more inward trade missions over the coming months.”
Meanwhile, as a result of President Dr Irfaan Ali’s visit to the UK in April this year, a deeper formal framework for future commercial engagements is being developed.
During the visit, President Ali met with the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson paving the way for the establishment of a government-to-government partnership.
“In my most recent meeting with Prime Minister Boris, we are not talking about MoUs anymore, we are talking about advancing the relationship between Guyana and the UK in what we call government-to-government cooperation,” President Ali said at the event.
President Ali explained that the relationship with the UK and Guyana has blossomed from technical assistance to a full-fledged partnership.
He noted that there is a great platform for investment opportunities for Guyana from the UK, but the government and private sector in Guyana must be ready.
“I was at a very important meeting with huge financial institutions in the UK and what I heard at that meeting was mind-blowing.
“There is an envelope of resources through the UK that is there for government and private sector that is in the hundreds of millions of pounds,” President Ali said as he reminded the audience that the future and development of the country must not be built on the oil and gas sector alone.
Guyana is also working with the UK to dismantle trade barriers for easier access to the European market and strengthened trade relations.