GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – With a travel time of fewer than 15 hours from Region One to Trinidad and Tobago, the M.V Ma Lisha is set to position the region as a hub for trade to the country and other Caribbean territories, according to His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali at the commissioning ceremony for the M.V Ma Lisha last Sunday.
He said this transportation factor is important, as Region One has the capacity to produce all the cassava, sweet potatoes, yams, turmeric, ginger, cage culture fish, and other high-value commodities that the Twin Island can utilise.
“This vessel opens up opportunities for food production, value-added food production and economic opportunities for the people of Region One. We are celebrating the launching of a vessel that will serve the people of Region One, but we are launching a vessel that will serve the economic transformation and modernisation of Guyana, one that will serve the building out of Guyana as a major centre for food production,” he posited.
As the ship takes care of the transportation aspect, president Ali said the way is paved for investments in agro-processing and port facilities, which will allow for the building of logistics and supply capacity.
The head of state added that, as these developments unfold, it will require the expansion of government services to improve accessibility.
The M.V. Ma Lisha will ply the Barima-Waini/ Georgetown route. The US$ 12.7 million ferry was built by Indian company Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited and is equipped with air conditioning and Wi-Fi access. The boat can carry 276 passengers, 18 crew members, and 14 sedan-type vehicles along with two trucks.
President Ali added:
“This vessel will also reduce the operating costs for the transport and harbours department. This will improve efficiency, reliability, while at the same time bringing a higher level of service to the people of these regions.”
Moreover, online booking will be implemented for travel on the vessel. Highlighting that the development of the people of Guyana and India is a priority for both countries, the president noted that the ship is a demonstration of the core value of the India-Guyana relationship. He noted that this partnership spans different sectors, such as education and agriculture.
On the aviation front, for example, Guyana and India days ago signed an Air Services Agreement to facilitate direct flights between the two countries.