See full statement issued by the Ministry of Finance below:
Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh on Friday, while welcoming the new Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB’s) General Manager for the Caribbean Country Department (CCB), Mr. Anton Edmunds, also lauded the Bank for its continued support to Guyana through its efforts to partner with this country in terms of development in both the public and private sectors.
Dr. Singh met and held discussions with the IDB official during a courtesy call at the Ministry of Finance by the latter who was accompanied by a team from the international financial institution, led by Ms. Lorena Solorzano-Salazar, IDB’s Resident Representative for Guyana.
During the meeting, the finance minister recalled that the IDB has been a longstanding friend to Guyana over the years, even during the country’s most challenging periods and continues to be supportive now that Guyana has moved from being a Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) to one of the fastest growing economies in the world. He also spoke of the increasing role the IDB has played in terms of not only continuously supporting investments in the public sector, but also now playing an increasing role in the private sector through IDB-Invest.
For his part, Mr. Edmunds reaffirmed the IDB’s commitment to Guyana, pointing out as well that the IDB-Invest’s success in the Caribbean is underpinned by the successful transactions it has executed in Guyana.
IDB-Invest has been increasing its financial support to Guyana through loans to the private sector for various projects including in the transport, agri-business and tourism sectors.
Dr. Singh posited that Government is laying the foundation for a strong and competitive non-oil economy to ensure that Guyana is not an economy solely dependent on oil.
“We are using this period to make the strategic investments that are necessary to ensure that in the medium to longer term Guyana is not an economy that is solely dependent on oil,” Minister Singh reiterated, adding that this period is being used by Government ‘to invest in things like infrastructure to improve connectivity with our neighbours, increase the economic space in which we are operating, and therefore lay the foundation for more trade.”
Government holds lead responsibility for food security in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Region and Dr. Singh added that any support to this country to fast-track this will also allow for the development of two other interlinked areas in the Region, such as transport as well as improvement in trade and commerce.
Guyana is currently working to also improve trade links with its South American neighbours Suriname and Brazil through its efforts to complete a road to Brazil and construction of a Bridge over the Corentyne River to Suriname.
Recently, the Board of Directors of the IDB approved a new Country Strategy with Guyana for the period 2023-2026 focused on resilient infrastructure, human capital development, with an emphasis on improving health and education outcomes and social services, and strengthening institutional capacity. The new Strategy also supports Guyana to implement the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and its decarbonization objectives.