Govt, EU discuss support in sea-and-river-defense sector, other areas

– Ambassador recalls determination of Guyanese
to preserve democracy

Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh and European Union (EU) Ambassador to Guyana, His Excellency Dr Fernando Ponz Cantó, met at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC) and co-chaired an important Policy Dialogue focused on EU-Guyana Development Cooperation.

Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh and European Union (EU) Ambassador to Guyana, His Excellency Dr Fernando Ponz Cantó at the meeting on Thursday

The meeting was a successful step towards further cooperation achievements for the benefit of Guyana’s citizens, with discussions focused on the EU’s development cooperation programme with Guyana.
The EU and Guyana have an increasingly close partnership, based on common values, objectives and interests covering all matters of mutual interest.
While addressing the meeting, Minister Singh placed on record the strong appreciation of the Government for the EU’s sustained support to Guyana over the years. He also expressed optimism that the strong relationship that Guyana and the EU enjoy would continue to grow in the years ahead as Guyana traverses this new phase in its economic history.
Ambassador Fernando Ponz Cantó pledged the European Union’s continued commitment to the EU-Guyana partnership as Guyana advances its development agenda as a new and emerging oil and gas producer.
The Ambassador recalled the determination and resilience of the Guyanese people to preserve democratic norms and the rule of law. In particular, he commended the Government and the National Authorising Officer (NAO) for re-establishing this bilateral policy dialogue which had been absent during 2020 due to the political crisis and related events, and which is a fundamental element in the full normalisation of cooperation, including budget support.
Further, Minister Singh reaffirmed Government’s appreciation for the EU Budget Support Programme.
The two delegations held wide-ranging discussions that focused on the Government’s ongoing investment programme in the sea-and-river-defense sector, including mangroves. Both were key areas that underpin EU support over the last decades.
Additionally, Dr Singh and the EU Ambassador held a preliminary discussion on a new technical cooperation facility valued at €2.73M in which Guyana would benefit from support for the implementation and development of policies to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Possible areas of support include health, livelihood development, biodiversity, forestry, governance, and public financial management.
The EU team comprised Head of Cooperation, Karel Lizerot, and other members of the EU Delegation, while the Ministry of Finance’s team included Deputy National Authorising Officer (DNAO), Tarachand Balgobin.
The EU Delegation in Guyana was established in December 1972, and is responsible for taking forward the EU-Guyana partnership, including political, development and socioeconomic relations, trade, and other major policy areas, based on solid human, cultural and historical links.