President Irfaan Ali hailed the US$2bn signing between Guyana and EXIM Bank as a signal of the US’s commitment to Guyana and CARICOM.
The Head of State made this assertion following the signing of the agreement between the Government of Guyana with the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of the United States in Washington DC today.
The MoU represents an important milestone in US-Guyana relations since it lays the foundation for Guyana to access EXIM financing and facilities for the first time and provides for interventions at a scale that is likely to have a lasting developmental impact.
Under the agreement, the parties agreed to explore options for utilising EXIM’s standard instruments, which include direct loans and medium- and long-term guarantees, to finance US exports to Guyana for Government projects totalling US$2bn.
“In this development phase of our country, we want to see greater US participation not only from the Government but from the private sector. One of the inhibitive factors has always been the ease of access to financing and the barriers to financing. This today is the single most important signature not only for Guyana but for the region, the United States, through one of its agencies. EXIM Bank is serious about its commitment to the CARICOM region.”
The MoU, he added, should also signal an open invitation to the private sector and the leadership of both countries to move forward aggressively on a platform supported by the Government of Guyana and EXIM Bank.
As such, he expressed optimism that full use will be made of this opportunity and that there is a deeper understanding, on both sides, of the level of seriousness that is attached to the relationship.
This commitment, the President added, “has now been cemented in the MoU that not only outlines areas but sets an initial figure of $2bn to be allocated to the development projects and work in Guyana.
“I think we can applaud ourselves and EXIM Bank for this dynamic, futuristic, and bold move in advancing this relationship and this cause, and the areas we have identified shows the broad and multifaceted nature of the leadership of EXIM Bank.”
The MoU also identifies a number of indicative sectors in which projects may be identified. These include but are not limited to: infrastructure (including roads and bridges); energy (including renewable energy and emission reduction); telecommunications (including wireless technologies); water treatment and sanitation (including technologies and infrastructure); and agriculture.
“This is what we’re talking about, not a simple MoU, but an MoU that has the potential of unlocking all of this. The focus on energy, renewable energy, that allows us to advance on the path of goals and targets we set at COP26 and beyond. It shows our commitment on cleaner energy, advancing sustainable and resilient development.”
President Ali committed to working “aggressively” and “proactively” in pursuit of the full realisation of the MoU while ensuring that all parties emerge as “winners.”
“So Madam President and Chair of EXIM Bank, Vice Chair, leadership, I want to commit to you that we are now going to aggressively, proactively and in a dynamic way pursue this MoU to the full realisation of the potential benefit it brings…for both the US and Guyana. We are not in this to win alone; we are in this to create an opportunity for each of us to be winners.”
The President also invited the bank’s hierarchy, including its President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis, to visit Guyana with the US private sector to meet with the Government and the local private sector in Guyana to solidify the projects.