Guyana, Canada Deepen Ties
Above: Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett (centre) in talks with Canada
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Guyana and Canada held high-level talks Monday aimed at enhancing bilateral interests.
Guyana Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett received Diane Ablonzcy, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, for discussions in Georgetown.
“We have about $600 million in terms of Canadian investment in Guyana,” Rodrigues-Birkett said. “I’m sure that this figure will grow.”
About 95 percent of Guyana’s exports to Canada are gold, along with smaller shares of seafood and rum. There are number of Canadian mining firms currently operating in Guyana.
“We would like to diversify our exports even more,” she said.
Canada and Guyana are currently developing a trade and development meeting, which recently concluded its fourth round of negotiations in July.
“Hopefully we would be able to work out those unresolved issues to meet the deadline before the plan expires in December 2013,” Rodrigues-Birkett said. “It’s very ambitious, but if we work very hard we can meet that deadline.”
Ablonzcy, who is also the Member of Parliament for Calgary-Nose Hill, said that, with more than 100,000 Guyanese nationals living in Canada, it is important for both countries to continue their collaboration.
Her two-day visit began on Monday.
“Canada is committed to being a good corporate citizen to Guyana s we work together to build on our already-successful relations,” she said.
Canada’s CIDA international development agency has a number of ongoing projects in Guyana.