Guyana and Belize on Thursday evening signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to advance cooperation in several areas.
President Dr Irfaan Ali, who witnessed the signing at State House alongside Prime Minister of Belize John Briceño, said it signified the sealing of an exceptional personal relationship that has translated into national good.
The MoU was signed by Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd and Foreign Minister of Belize Eamon Courtenay.
According to the document, Guyana and Belize are to cooperate and set targets in the coming months in the areas of agriculture, food security, trade, investment, energy, climate change, tourism and technology.
President Ali said it opens “tremendous doors” for Guyana to get its products, such as sugar, into several markets including Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.
The country-to-country agreement is also expected to benefit the wider Caribbean Community (CARICOM), particularly in the area of agriculture.
Belize is seeking new markets for its agricultural produce and a deepening partnership with Guyana could prove beneficial for both countries.
A joint commission is to be established, which will be presided over by the two foreign ministers, and will include experts from the private and public sectors.
In brief remarks, Briceño talked up the agriculture partnership, saying it flowed from long-running discussions he has been having with President Ali.
The Belize Prime Minister arrived together in Guyana on Tuesday night from Paramaribo, Suriname where he and Dr Ali had gathered with other regional leaders for the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting.
“I really truly see our countries once again renewing friendship and strengthening cooperation and assisting each other as we can.
“To sign this cooperation agreement is a sense of accomplishment and achievement and happiness that we are moving in the right direction,” the Belizean Prime Minister said.
Meanwhile, President Ali said more bilateral agreements are to be signed with other CARICOM member states.
He noted that these bilateral agreements can help to remove several of the existing barriers to regional trade.