President Ali on state visit to Brazil ahead of historic regional summit

…to hold talks with Brazilian President on bilateral cooperation

Ahead of what will be the first summit bringing together the majority of South American leaders as a bloc in almost a decade, President Dr Irfaan Ali has travelled to Brazil where he is also expected to hold talks with his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

President Dr Irfaan Ali as he arrived in Brazil

According to a statement from the Government, President Dr Irfaan Ali departed Guyana on Monday for Brazil. Leaders of South American countries are gathering in Brazil for the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) summit being held today.
Founded in 2008 with the intention of increasing the integration of South America, UNASUR has not met with its full complement of leaders since 2014… making today’s summit a historic one. Back in 2018, Brazil (then under the Presidency of Jair Bolsonaro), Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Paraguay suspended their membership in UNASUR.
President Ali is being accompanied on his trip to Brazil by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd. According to the statement, President Ali will also meet with and hold talks with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Back in January, President Ali was among the world leaders who attended President Lula’s inauguration. Prior to Lula’s inauguration, President Ali in his congratulation message had listed a number of areas that would be critical for both countries to move their relationship forward, including energy and food security, telecommunication, infrastructure integration and trade.
The President had said earlier this month that the Linden/Lethem Road will be discussed during his next meeting with President Lula. The mostly United Kingdom (UK)-funded Linden-to-Lethem Road is currently being built by Brazilian company Construtora Queiroz Galvao S.A.
“We now have all the bridges to Lethem being reconstructed to international standards, four-lane concrete bridges. That will make a huge difference. At the end of this month, I’m meeting with President Lula to continue discussion on the further expansion of this road,” President Ali had said.
The Linden to Lethem Road will be the largest project administered by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and is one of the most historic projects undertaken in Guyana. The road works include upgrading the existing alignment to asphaltic concrete surface; 2 lanes spanning 7.2 metre width; and 122 kilometres with the inclusion of five drainage structures.
Construtora Queiroz Galvao S.A is a large Brazilian contractor established in 1966. The company specialises in the construction of refineries, roads, bridges, commercial offices, residential buildings, highways and sewage systems worldwide.
The Linden-to-Lethem Road, a key link between Guyana and Brazil, with the potential to boost trade, is at present little more than an unsurfaced trail that deteriorates in rainfall. As such, the UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (CIF) programme, administered through the CDB, would be providing funding for the first phase of the road: from Linden to Mabura Hill, as well as a crossing at Kurupukari.
The process leading to the award of the contract followed a stringent and transparent procurement process by which the call for proposals for the prequalification of contractors was made in February 2021. Ten contractors were prequalified, and this list was approved by the CDB in October 2021.
Following the prequalification phase, the bidding process began in October 2021 and ended in December 2021. Of the 10 prequalified contractors, the following five made submissions: China Gezhouba Group Company Limited; China Railway International Group & China Railway No 10 Engineering Group Co Ltd; Shandong Luqiao Group Co; OECI SA (OECI) in JV with Castilho Engenharia E Empreendimentos S.A. (CEE); and Construtora Queiroz Galvao S.A.
The bids were carefully scrutinised and evaluated by a team of local engineers. After a thorough evaluation process involving engagements and consultations with the Caribbean Development Bank, Construtora Queiroz Galvao S.A was determined as the most responsive bid, indicating full compliance with all environmental, social, health and safety requirements. (G3)