Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett says that Guyana is prepared to commission the Takatu Bridge and has been waiting on Brazil to signal its readiness.
The Brazilian Deputado Federal Chico Rodriguez, who holds the portfolio with responsibility for the construction of the Bridge, has indicated a willingness to commission the bridge by month’s end.
Rodriguez made the disclosure to this newspaper during a tour of the bridge on Saturday last.
Much focus is being placed on trade relations between Brazil and Guyana, given the imminent completion of the Takatu Bridge that offers a bright future. Guyana’s Minister with responsibility for commerce, Manniram Prashad, did point out to this newspaper that there is greater need for electrical capacity in the environs at this country’s end of the bridge.
This is because of the influx of activity and businesses that is expected to be initiated.
To this end, the Minister noted that the resuscitation of the Moco-Moco hydro power plant is being mulled.
The plant was damaged during a landslide in 2003 where the facility’s water transmission pipeline was damaged, resulting in the shutdown of the hydropower plant.
Prashad also noted that the land identified for the setting up of an industrial estate close to the bridge will be granted to persons operating businesses in the area. “They will be granted first preference.”
During a recent interview with Minister of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation, Dr. Henry Jeffrey, he said that while the bridge is nearing completion, negotiations are underway to have Brazil transform Bom Fin into a port of entry.
He noted that currently, with Boa Vista as the port of entry for north Brazil, trade is not a viable option given that air transport is the only option.
He added that the Brazilians are currently contemplating the construction of a Consulate at Lethem to further advance trade options with Guyana.
The Minister indicated that plans are already in train to have the relevant authorities in place, such as Customs and Excise and Immigration.
Work has long commenced on the Brazilian side of the Takatu by Arte Leste of Curitiba from the State of Parana, north Brazil.
The company is a sub-contractor for the project, which is being supervised by the 6th Engineers Battalion of the Brazilian Army, who will themselves carry out the approaches to the bridge.
The bridge is some 230 metres long and 15 metres wide.
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