It’s a great time to engage with Guyana, said acting High Commissioner Deborah Yaw, at a reception at the Guyanese High Commission, St Clair, Thursday, to mark the country's 50th anniversary as a co-operative republic.
“This is an exciting time to live, work or visit Guyana,” she said as she profiled the Caricom member's development and its prospects following the discovery of oil off its coast.
“It is now more important than ever that we harness the goodwill of friends and international partners whose co-operation is essential to the country’s transformation.adding that investing in Guyana can be mutually beneficial.
She said individuals and business entities in neighbouring states are discovering this.
Yaw said eight billion barrels of oil was discovered in Guyana whose economy is set to grow by 86 per cent this year, to be the world’s fastest growing.
However she said just as important as the energy sector was Guyana’s socio-economic development. Yaw said President David Granger has said this is the decade of development for Guyana, in the economy, infrastructure, education, digital technology, and environmentalism.
“A green state will emphasise the preservation and protection of the environment and the promotion of renewable energy, eco-tourism and value-added production.”
She said Guyana was deemed best eco-tourism destination at the 2019 Berlin Tourism Fair, while both the UK and US listed Guyana as a top tourism destination in 2020.
“Just two days ago, CNN Travel published an article on the Guianas which I’m sure will elicit much interest in Guyana’s tourism offerings.”
Yaw invited the Guyanese diaspora to play a role. “The positive strides made since we became a republic should inspire us all to continue to work together to preserve, protect and further develop our beloved homeland.”
She said Guyana has faced difficult and challenging circumstances and will likely also have these in the future. “Among other things it has had to deal with a vexatious border controversy which it has chosen to address through the mechanism of the United Nations but which in no small way has affected its development plans and foreign investments especially.”
Yet despite the challenges, Guyana has played and continues to play a significant role in regional and world affairs, Yaw said.
In the region, Guyana was a leading light in the foundation of Caricom in 1973 and its predecessor Carifesta in 1968, she reminded. On the world stage, Guyana was the first Caricom nation to hold the presidency of the UN General Assembly in 1993. The Commonwealth’s second Secretary-General (Shridath Ramphal) was a Guyanese, while the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group is now headed by a Guyanese, Yaw said. “Its distinguished sons were judges on the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court and International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia."