GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali said that partnerships with like “minded countries” and institutions are key to achieving the sustainable development goals of eradicating poverty, ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.
The head of state Wednesday spoke about bolstering relations with both the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Zimbabwe while accrediting their high commissioners to Guyana.
President Ali accepted the Letters of Credence from H.E Mario Chan as the Non-Resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to Guyana and the Letters of Commission from H.E Ignatius Graham Mudzimba as Non-Resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
He spoke about the potential of cooperation in agriculture, and its importance to the countries.
“My government is working towards expanding and diversifying all sectors of the economy with special emphasis on agriculture … agriculture is an important sector in your country’s economy; it is a driver of growth and development and a significant employer. Guyana is keen to explore opportunities for cooperation in this area,” he told ambassador Chan.
The president also spoke about the importance of agriculture and food production with ambassador Mudzimba.
“My government has placed a great emphasis on the transformation of our agriculture sector with a focus on diversification of food production, coupled with a focus on soil care. I believe that these are areas where Guyana and Zimbabwe can find synergies for shared technologies.”
President Ali also told the Zimbabwean ambassador that there is great scope for the two countries to “construct a practical framework to enhance bilateral cooperation in those areas where we could benefit from mutual expertise to aid in the development of particular sectors of our economies”.
Along with agriculture, the president said there is also potential for cooperation between Guyana and Zimbabwe in the education and tourism sectors.
“I also would like to encourage visits from Zimbabwean companies to explore joint ventures and investments in Guyana. We also stand ready to enhance our collaboration with Zimbabwe at the multilateral level to advance the interests of our two countries and regions on issues high on the international agenda, particularly those relating to climate change.”
During his statement to ambassador Chan he also spoke about climate change and its devastating effect on the people of the Philippines.
“We will continue to impress on the necessity for support, by the international community, in helping small states to monitor, prevent and manage climate and disaster risks.”
Meanwhile, the president lauded the Philippines for its “steadfast efforts” in reducing Covid-19 through vaccination.
He commended the country’s drive for its contribution to the COVAX Advance Market commitment through GAVI, the vaccine alliance which serves as a platform in providing equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.
He also noted that in an effort to increase people-to-people contact, the government of Guyana will examine the proposal for the conclusion of a partial visa waiver agreement for travel between Guyana and the Philippines.
According to ambassador Chan, the Philippines is interested in further expanding cooperation in the fields of hydropower, technology and the sugar industry.
President Ali was joined by the minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Hugh Todd and the permanent secretary of the ministry, Elisabeth Harper for both accreditation ceremonies.