Guyana-Suriname Commission is a timely initiative

Dear Editor,
The proposed establishment of the Guyana-Suriname Commission to focus on the mutually exclusive economic, social and cultural development of both countries is indeed a timely initiative.
The recent discovery of our mega oil reserves in the Guiana Shield has provided both countries with the opportunity to foster a collaborative and synergistic approach to development.
The following areas of focus will surely be on the radar, namely:
1. Joint venture approach to an on-shore base industrial site, or an Energy Frontier for the added value production of the collective oil and gas reserves of our respective countries. This should include a deep port harbour, gas-powered generation plants, refinery, petro-chemical plants, production of lubricants, LPG plants, and polymers.
2. Amalgamation of business that can provide technical support services to the floating platforms at the various oil wells. Services such as nondestructive testing and welding to pipelines and tanks, safe entry and cleaning of hazardous materials, environmental disposal of hazardous waste, safe air transport in the form of helicopters, and other things.
3. Infrastructural projects that would enhance the physical connectivity of our countries. The bridge from Moleson Creek to South Drain, where bids for the feasibility and concomitant design have already been received, is a tremendous step for mutual progress. The bridge would definitely see an increase in the movement of people and goods in both countries. Developing further our respective regional airports, especially the Zorg en Hoop in Suriname, may result in cheaper air fares.
4. The facilitation of private enterprise expansion in each of these countries. At present, we have a few Surinamese companies operating in Guyana, with the most recent announcement of the Fernandes Company opening a modern bakery here. The private sectors of both countries, through the auspices of the proposed Commission, should develop reciprocal businesses.
5. Facilitating collaboration in the rice industry, to the benefit of both parties. Sharing of research data and best practices in land tillage, rice varieties, pest control, fertiliser management, harvesting techniques, milling technology, and added valve production would redound to the benefit of the collective rice industry.
6. Promotion of more cultural and sporting exchanges. Both countries share an almost identical history of slavery and indentureship, albeit under different colonial masters. We share similar connections in our music, dance, and art forms, which would only be enriched by more interactions. With respect to sports, we already have the Inter-Guianas Games for the u-19 youths. We can encourage more club and national team exchanges in football, volleyball, basketball, netball, swimming and athletics.
There will be a multitude of areas that the proposed Guyana-Suriname Commission would conceptualise in the future with its formation to the benefit of both nations. It is indeed a welcoming initiative

Yours truly,
Reggie Bhagwandin