Guyana to pursue closer ties with UAE on energy, LCDS among other areas – Pres Ali

– as new UAE Ambassador to Guyana accredited

A new United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to Guyana was on Tuesday accredited, with President Dr Irfaan Ali committing to working with the Arabian federation in areas of mutual interest such as renewable energy and the Government’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS).

The UAE Ambassador handing over his letters of credence to President Irfaan Ali

The accreditation of Ambassador Saleh Ahmad Salem Alzaraim Alsuwaidi took place at the Office of the President where the President also committed to travelling to Dubai, one of the UAE’s seven countries, for Expo 2020 Dubai later in the year.
“Both of our countries share similar objectives. On the mitigation of climate change effects, Guyana is on a path to transforming our economy to low carbon sustainable development trajectory, through the prioritisation of the Government’s Low Carbon Development Strategy,” Ali said.
“I hope that we can work together to develop our collaboration in this area. The impending establishment of our mission in Abu Dhabi is testimony to my Government’s commitment to give practical meaning to its relations with the UAE. I wish to congratulate the UAE on its hosting of Expo Dubai 2020. And I look forward to being in Dubai this October to attend this event.”
Meanwhile, Ambassador Alzaraim Alsuwaidi conveyed “the warmest greetings” on behalf of his Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, to President Ali.
“I would like to seize this opportunity to convey that the President desires the partnership to be focused on developing bilateral relations between the UAE and Guyana,” the UAE Ambassador said during the ceremony.
It was announced at the start of the year by Foreign Affairs Minister Hugh Todd that Guyana would be moving to set up two embassies in the middle eastern states of Qatar and UAE. Todd had said that this would be done by 2021 year end.
In November of last year, His Highness, Sheikh Ahmad Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had led a high-level delegation to Guyana for a three-day State visit.
The visiting envoy met with members of the Cabinet, including Minister Hugh Todd, Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat, Housing and Water Ministers Collin Croal and Susan Rodrigues, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill and other Government officials.
During their stay, the UAE team had engaged in high-level talks with Guyanese officials on a number of areas of mutual interest, including oil and gas. And it has been posited by experts that there is much Guyana can benefit from through increased collaboration with the UAE. This is particularly so in the oil and gas sector.
Guyana, with its oil and gas industry, has been spared the economic pain suffered by many of its regional counterparts. For instance, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) had previously noted that Guyana, unlike 19 other countries, did not record any increase in its debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio.
In the CDB’s 2020 Review and 2021 Outlook Regional Report, the Bank noted that on average, the regional debt to GDP ratio increased from 66.5 per cent to 79.5 per cent among 19 Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs).
Guyana, which is also a BMC, was able to avoid this altogether and was, in fact, the only BMC surveyed by the CDB to record economic growth for 2020, with 26 per cent. The economies of the other BMCs contracted by 12.8 per cent on average due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the CDB, Guyana’s economic growth was driven solely by the start-up in first oil, though this growth was still lower than expected due to the declining oil prices that were brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic last year. It means, however, that Guyana is uniquely positioned as an investment destination.