Canada is Guyana’s largest export market – President lauds strong relations

Canada Day 2021

President Dr Irfaan Ali has extended best wishes for continued prosperity and well-being to the Government and people of Canada on the 154th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada.

President Dr Irfaan Ali

In a brief video message, President Ali on Thursday highlighted that Guyana and Canada have shared a long and fruitful relationship.
“Canada is Guyana’s largest export market, a source of significant investment and home to thousands of Guyanese citizens. Common membership of the Commonwealth of Nations has enhanced cooperation and deepened the shared values of democracy and respect for human rights, the rule of law, and each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” the Guyanese Head of State said.
Canada Day celebrates an important national milestone on the way to the country’s full independence. On July 1, 1867, the nation was officially born when the Constitution Act joined three provinces into one country: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Canada province, which then split into Ontario and Quebec. However, Canada was not completely independent of England until 1982.
Guyana and Canada established diplomatic ties in March 1964. The strong bilateral relations between the two countries resulted from political ties through the Commonwealth, commercial links, development assistance and immigration.
Guyana and Canada also share extensive people-to-people ties with the Guyanese Diaspora in the North American country estimated to be over 200,000.
Currently, Canada accounts for over 20 per cent of Guyana’s exports.
Additionally, Guyana benefits from bilateral funding through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives; and Canada’s Caribbean Regional Development programme, which also supports Caribbean collaboration and integration efforts.
Canada-Guyana business relations encompass a plethora of trade initiatives which include but are not limited to agriculture; oil & gas; mining, promoting Canadian expertise at world-class mining events, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Only in December, the Canada-Guyana Chamber of Commerce was launched to promote and facilitate investment and trade between Guyana and Canada and other countries.
Meanwhile, Canada also played an integral role during last year’s tumultuous electoral process to ensure Guyana’s democracy was not undermined.
At the February accreditation of Canada’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Mark Berman, he spoke of Canada’s intentions to deepen ties with Guyana and for further assistance with COVID-19, which he noted Guyana has made strides in addressing.
Berman also referred to the recent launch of the Canada-Guyana Chamber of Commerce and pledged that he would play his part in advocating for Canadians to invest locally. Additionally, the diplomat said that support from Canada would continue in other, non-economic areas.
“You can continue to count on the High Commissioner to support Guyana in the development priorities, working in areas such as Private Sector development, strengthening the Judiciary, promoting gender equality, supporting Indigenous peoples and other areas as you continue your rapid economic growth,” the Canadian diplomat had stated.
President Ali, on the other hand, had noted that with Guyana on the cusp of major economic transformation, new opportunities for mutually-beneficial partnerships were arising, which is exemplified by the establishment of the Canada-Guyana Chambers of Commerce.
“This reciprocal initiative paves the way for greater trade ties between our States as is evident with the presence of major Canadian companies operating in Guyana. Guyanese-owned businesses are partnering with Canadian companies. I welcome your own commitment to facilitate the contributions of Guyanese Canadians to Guyana’s development,” the President had stated.