SENIOR Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh and European Union (EU) Ambassador to Guyana, Dr. Fernando Ponz Cantó have held wide-ranging discussions that focused on the government’s ongoing investment programme in the sea and river defence sector, including mangroves. Both are key areas that underpin EU support over the last decades.
The meeting was held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, where the two officials co-chaired an important policy dialogue focused on EU-Guyana Development Cooperation.
A release from the Ministry of Finance also noted that Dr. Singh and the EU Ambassador held preliminary discussion on a new Technical Cooperation Facility, valued at €2.73M, through which Guyana will benefit from support for the implementation and development of policies to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Possible areas of support include health, livelihood development, biodiversity, forestry, governance, and public financial management.
The meeting was a successful step towards further cooperation achievements for the benefit of Guyana’s citizens, with discussions focused on the EU’s development cooperation programme with Guyana. The EU and Guyana have an increasingly close partnership based on common values, objectives and interests covering all matters of mutual interest.
While addressing the meeting, Minister Singh placed on record the government’s strong appreciation of the EU’s sustained support to Guyana over the years. He also expressed optimism that the strong relationship that Guyana and the EU enjoy will continue to grow in the years ahead, as Guyana traverses this new phase in its economic history.
Ambassador Ponz Cantó pledged the EU’s continued commitment to the EU-Guyana partnership, as Guyana advances its development agenda as a new and emerging oil-and-gas producer. The ambassador recalled the determination and resilience of the Guyanese people to preserve democratic norms and the rule of law.
In particular, he commended the government and the National Authorising Officer (NAO) for re-establishing this bilateral policy dialogue, which had been absent during 2020, due to the political crisis and related events, and which is a fundamental element in the full normalisation of cooperation including budget support.
Minister Singh reaffirmed the government’s appreciation for the EU’s budget support programme.
The EU team also comprised Karel Lizerot, Head of Cooperation, and other members of the EU Delegation, while the Ministry of Finance’s team included Tarachand Balgobin, Deputy National Authorising Officer (DNAO).
The EU Delegation in Guyana was established in December 1972, and is responsible for taking forward the EU-Guyana partnership, including political development, and socioeconomic relations, trade, and other major policy areas, based on solid human, cultural and historical links.