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New oil producer status does not disqualify Guyana from receiving aid, says president Ali

By Kemol King

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali said there is a misconception that Guyana does not qualify for concessional financing or support from partners internationally for its development. He made this point just after announcing that Guyana received €7.56 million (GUY $1.78 billion) in budgetary support from the European Union (EU), during a press conference at the office of the president.

 “Yes, we are projected to grow tremendously and be a leading economy globally, but there is a transition time which brings with it, a transition gap. And we are making a case that in that transition gap, Guyana still qualifies for concessional financing. We still qualify for support from international agencies, because the strong flow of revenue from the oil and gas sector will not occur immediately.”

Guyana currently has some US$534 million in the Natural Resource Fund (NRF), but this is not significant compared to the revenue flows the government expects to receive when ExxonMobil ramps up production in the Stabroek block by 2027.

While only one floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel is producing offshore, it is expected that six will be operating simultaneously by then.

Additionally, government is preparing to take a new Sovereign Wealth Fund Legislation to Parliament, to govern the system under which Guyana’s oil revenues will be managed.

Meanwhile, Guyana will continue to accept support for development projects, geared at lifting up its most vulnerable communities.

When asked whether the support to Guyana, and the relationship with the EU is coming to an end, the president said:

“That is absolutely not the case. For a matter of fact, that is why we have such a high-level visit today, because the intention of this visit is to define the strategic way forward, and the emerging challenges and opportunities and for us to come up with a common framework and a plan, as to how together, the EU and Guyana will navigate the future…”

Involved in the meeting on the EU’s side were not only the EU ambassador to Guyana, Ernesto Araújo, but the EU’s deputy management director for the Americas, Javier Pérez.

Government (right) in discussions with representatives of the European Union (left)

He highlighted that, “even though for other countries, we will not foresee bilateral programmes in the next several years, this will not be the case for Guyana. Guyana will continue to benefit from a national programme…”

“We trust this country. We trust this government. We clearly believe that this is a well-defined strategy to move forward, to work on issues like infrastructural development, health, education, inclusivity, the green deal, and we want to be partners in that process.”

The officials described the unfolding of the new relation as a political partnership, which will see Guyana and the EU cooperating, not just economically, but on foreign policy imperatives, which president Ali believes could yield tremendous strength.



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