“There is nothing to fear,” said Minister of State Joseph Harmon yesterday as he spoke fondly about government’s relationship with China and sought to quell fears about Guyana signing onto the troubled Belt and Road Initiative.
Harmon was responding to questions at the post-Cabinet press briefing.
He said that he is quite aware of the concerns about Government embracing the Belt and Road Initiative. “But, I want to say to the media and to Guyana in general that Guyana was one of the first countries in this hemisphere to give diplomatic recognition to the People’s Republic of China and that was since in 1972.”
Harmon said that since that time, many others have then given diplomatic recognition to China “but we were leading…there is absolutely no reason why Guyana should not take advantage of a transformative project such as the Belt and Road Initiative.”
Harmon assured that there is “nothing to fear” since Government has “carefully identified projects” with clearly defined timelines for completion.
“I have read about experiences of countries such as Pakistan but we are basically taking our time and have carefully laid out projects. We will have clear timelines when things are to be done and we will have careful monitoring so I do not think people should fear these projects going the way of Pakistan.”
Harmon indicated that Guyana will tap into money being offered by China under the Belt and Road Initiative to fund the Linden to Lethem Road and several ICT projects.
He said, “I cannot give the entire list right now but I know that some of the infrastructure projects are there.” (Abena Rockcliffe-Campbell)
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