Jul 02, 2022 News
– Ambassador talks up US$1.7B imports in 2021
Kaieteur News – Saying that Guyana is on a unique journey, United States Ambassador, Sarah Ann Lynch said going forward Washington will continue to forge partnership on inclusive democracy, economic development, and citizen security for all Guyanese.
She was at the time addressing a large gathering at her residence to celebrate the 246th Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America and 56 years of official diplomatic relations between the United States and Guyana. “Our commitment to Guyana is to continue to collaborate with you along this fascinating journey and to reinforce your aspirations to realise a safe and prosperous Guyana for all the people of this beautiful country. As such, our partnership will continue to thrive and grow during these historic times in Guyana,” Mrs. Lynch told the audience.
Ambassador Lynch and other US senators over time have pushed a more inclusive agenda here for Guyana even as they stressed greater transparency and equity in the distribution of the country’s newfound oil wealth. “Going forward, we will continue to partner with you on inclusive democracy, economic development, and citizen security for all Guyanese, and to promote the public values of – transparency, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility – values that inform policies reflecting good governance and a participatory democracy where all voices are heard,” Lynch told the gathering which included President Irfaan Ali, Prime Minister Mark Phillips and Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo. The main opposition has accused the government of being discriminatory in its management of the affairs of this country- a claim which the administration has denied.
Meanwhile, Lynch asserted that the United States has been on the development journey with Guyana, noting that “evidence of our enduring relationship lies in both the public and private sectors. The numbers speak for themselves.” She disclosed that in 2021, the U.S. exported US$565 million worth of goods to Guyana; and the U.S. imported a whopping US$1.7 billion worth of goods from Guyana. “As important as the oil and gas sector has been to those numbers, U.S. companies are also partnering in infrastructure, agriculture, health care, education, services, and tourism. And, these partnerships span into the public sector to help build the government’s capacity to serve its people.”
Giving example, Ambassador Lynch said USAID’s Economic Development Accelerator programme is helping entrepreneurs in Guyana’s agriculture sector grow their agro-processing businesses and on the security front, “we just concluded a critical multi-month port security training for Guyana with inter-agency participation from Guyana’s police, the Revenue Authority, the Customs and Anti-Narcotics Unit, the Maritime Administration, and the Coast Guard. This training provided the tools to strengthen container security protocols and increase knowledge of narcotics smuggling typologies, in collaboration with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime.”
Lynch said across the United States, Americans will come together to celebrate their independence with food, family and fireworks, but also to renew their commitment to the values that shaped “our country – self-governance, equality, justice, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – and, to share those values with other nations around the world.”
To this end she said, looking forward, everyone must recognise that the world is truly at an inflection point right now with multiple interlocking crises impacting our daily lives, causing concern and worry for people around the globe compelling us to focus on critical long-term disruptions caused by climate change, energy insecurity, mass migration, the global pandemic and global food insecurity exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. She said Russia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine has also raised the important question of a country’s right to sovereignty – to develop and join alliances how it sees fit. “Sovereignty, democracy, pandemic management, migration, climate change, energy and food security – are all issues that are immensely important to the United States as well as Guyana. These are complex issues that no one country can solve alone. These are problems that require partners to come together to discuss, to debate and to solve. And, that’s exactly what the United States and Guyana are doing – addressing these issues together both in Guyana and in the region, all while strengthening and deepening our partnership.”
Ambassador Lynch noted that at the recent Summit of the Americas, hosted by the United States, multiple countries in the Americas came together to discuss shared concerns. Key declarations were made on migration, post-pandemic economic recovery, health care and medical training, clean energy, and climate change. “The Biden Administration’s new U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030) involves new commitments and the integration of climate adaptation and resilience and clean energy programs across the Caribbean. President Biden also announced the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity as part of our efforts to promote an equitable recovery in a hemisphere still reeling from the impacts of the pandemic.”
The US ambassador said that at the summit, Guyana was one of more than 20 countries in the hemisphere to sign onto the Los Angeles Declaration, a regional declaration to address the root causes of irregular migration and create a common framework for legal pathways, protection, and humane border management. “And, importantly, three working groups were formed to drill down on regional concerns in the critical areas of financial security, energy security and food security. Due to Guyana’s leadership role within CARICOM on agriculture and food security, President Ali will serve as a co-chair of the food security working group along with U.S. Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Brian Nichols. “Related to this critical issue of food insecurity, at the Summit, the U.S. announced its commitment to a Caribbean Zero Hunger Plan with initial funding of $28 million USD in food security assistance for the Caribbean, Lynch updated the gathering, while applauding Guyana’s vision to work on this issue and to be the breadbasket for the region, and the U.S. is ready to partner in this regard.
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