As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and now the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine, the prices of several goods and commodities have seen a steady increase and citizens in Guyana and CARICOM have been feeling the impact.
However, President Dr Irfaan Ali believes that developed countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can help their developing counterparts combat these challenges.
He shared this view during a panel discussion at the Global Business Forum-LATAM currently being hosted in Dubai.
The Head of state noted that countries in CARICOM are import-dependent and as such these situations have impacted the price increase and have further reinforced that the region needs to be more self-sufficient.
“To do this we need investment, capital, we need technology and we are very open. We need free markets, we need trade agreements that are progressive and trade agreements that open up opportunity and as a region, as a block, we are very committed to this,” he said.
He notes that even though Guyana is often referred to as the ‘next Dubai’ the country is not looking to compete with the UAE. Instead, they will take the best practices of the Middle Eastern state.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeqoudi also highlighted that his country is looking to expand international trade and believes that Latin America and the Caribbean can be one of the main solutions to the global food issue.
“They do have the natural resources, the capabilities and the capacity to grow.”
In the National 2022 budget, the PPP/C Government has allocated a sum of $5b to cushion the effects of the rising cost of living.
Dr Ali and Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo have said it is in the Government’s best interest to ensure that citizens do not suffer.