Way cleared to advance bilateral agenda between Guyana, DR – PM Phillips

– DR Ambassador says over 10 agreements signed in 1 year

As ties between Guyana and the Dominican Republic (DR) continue to deepen, Prime Minister Brigadier (retired) Mark Phillips on Friday evening stated that the path has been cleared to further advance the bilateral agenda between the two nations.
At the reception held to observe the 180th Independence Anniversary of the Dominican Republic, at the Pegasus Suites in Kingston, Georgetown, the Prime Minister stated that, over the past year, there has been an accelerated increase in ties between the two countries.
Phillips, who gave the feature address, made it clear that the appointment of the Dominican Republic Ambassador to Guyana, HE Ernesto Torres Pereyra, clears the path for even deeper ties. Pereyra was accredited in May 2023.
“The Government of Guyana welcomes this partnership that has been developed between our two countries. And we have noted the commitment, on the part of the Dominican Republic, with the establishment of an embassy in Guyana last year June. And your appointment, Excellency, now creates an appropriate conduit for the implementation and execution of our bilateral agenda.

Dominican Republic Ambassador to Guyana, Ernesto Torres Pereyra (2nd, left), and his wife Alexandra Varova, as they pose for a picture beside Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips and his wife Mignon Bowen-Phillips

“For our part, we’re committed to working with the Dominican Republic to give impetus to the several working groups that will serve to advance the programme of cooperation. These engagements will provide very practical support in the management of the outcomes of the multiple initiatives of mutually beneficial cooperation,” the Prime Minister further said.
According to Phillips, these initiatives include the introduction of SKYhigh Dominicana Airline, which commenced operations between Santo Domingo and Guyana only a few weeks ago. And according to the Prime Minister, there is scope for so much more.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Pereyra also spoke about how far relations between the two countries had come; and according to him, bilateral partnerships between Guyana and the DR continue to grow daily.
“In less than a year, we have already signed over 10 cooperation agreements, and we have received already reciprocal Presidential visits. We have also established strong bonds in the Private Sector, and we have received the visits of important cooperations in the Dominican Republic, including the Punta Cana group in the field of tourism.
“And we also have gone into energy, in the area of energy production, and we have already, successful corporations from the Dominican Republic operating here, like is the case of the restaurants and in the area of construction, and also in the case of PanAm,” Ambassador Pereyra further said.
Guyana and the Dominican Republic have established diplomatic relations since the 1970s, and have been making efforts to strengthen bilateral ties in recent years. Only last year, President Ali signed several agreements with President Abinader during an official two-day visit to that country. These agreements included one for the joint establishment of an oil refinery in Guyana.
In the months leading up to the signing, ties between Guyana and the DR had grown closer as the leaders of the two countries met at various forums. President Ali continued those bilateral efforts when he and First Lady Arya Ali arrived in the Dominican Republic for their visit, along with a large delegation of Government officials and members of Guyana’s Private Sector.
As per the terms of the agreement, the DR will have 51 per cent ownership of the refinery. At present, the Government has gone out to tender for proposals to build a refinery in Berbice with a capacity of 30,000 barrels per day (bpd). Last month, it was revealed that four out of the 11 companies that had submitted proposals last year have been shortlisted.
When it comes to agriculture, it is understood that joint production of agricultural products such as corn and soybeans, as well as partnerships in the poultry sector, were discussed.
According to President Ali, the agreements in agriculture between the two countries would ensure their prominence at the table whenever food security is discussed.
In June 2023, President Abinader had himself arrived in Guyana for a one-day visit wherein talks progressed about potential collaboration. Following bilateral talks between President Ali and President Abinader at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre in Greater Georgetown, senior ministers from the two nations signed three pacts to strengthen collaboration, including a MoU on cooperation in energy-related matters.
This MoU established a framework to facilitate and enhance bilateral cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector of the two countries, based on equality and mutual benefit. It included the promotion of investments in each other’s countries, as well as technology transfer, research and development, the building of human resources, and collaboration in the natural gas sector. (G-3)