The Canadian government has a keen interest in gaining a toehold in the country’s developing oil industry.
This was made clear yesterday when President David Granger accepted Letters of Credence from Her Excellency, Lilian Chatterjee, accrediting her the High Commissioner Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to Guyana.
She would replace Pierre Giroux, whose tour of duty ended in July.
The President said that while the two countries have much in common in terms of stable economies and plural societies, Guyana has much to learn from Canada, especially in the areas of social cohesion and inclusionary democracy.
He said that the Government welcomes the active cooperation between the two states in enhancing parliamentary democracy and good governance.
“Canada, the second largest country in the world, is renowned for its openness to immigrants from all around the world. It remains a model of diversity and inclusion. Thousands of Guyanese have been accepted as immigrants and citizens of your country,” President Granger said.
Additionally, Guyana looks forward to a sustained and robust partnership with Canada through the CARICOM-Canada mechanism, the Commonwealth, the Organisation of American States and the United Nations.
Canada is home to a large Guyanese diaspora, with Granger pointing out that Guyana has likewise proven to be an attractive destination for Canadian investment in mining, banking and, more recently, oil and gas exploration.
In terms of green development, the President said that Guyana looks forward to working with Canada in the development of local alternative energy sources and in the sustainable development of the natural resources.
According to Chatterjee, the Guyana-Canada relationship is extraordinary. She noted that people-to-people links between the two states remain strong while bilateral and commercial relations have been continuously expanding.
“Merchandise between our countries for 2016 was over $700M, positioning Guyana as Canada’s largest merchandise trading market within CARICOM and the third largest in the Caribbean. Canada is now Guyana’s top destination for exports,” she said.
Additionally, Canadian companies have a robust presence in Guyana in the extractive, aviation, education, clean technology, oil and gas and infrastructure sectors. The High Commissioner said that with Guyana poised to become a major oil producer and exporter in the near future, the opportunities for further cooperation will increase significantly.
Guyana and Canada established diplomatic ties on May 26, 1966, the date of Guyana’s Independence.
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