Guyana, Suriname Join MERCOSUR as Associate Members

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - July 13, 2013

Above: Guyana President Donald Ramotar

By the Caribbean Journal staff

More and more Caribbean countries are looking to deepen their ties with regional neighbours in both Central and South America.

In the latest such step, Guyana and Suriname have joined the MERCOSUR Latin American trade bloc as associate members.

Guyana President Donald Ramotar attended the MERCOSUR summit in Montevideo last week, said Guyana was “cognizant of our geographic place on the continent of South America and what is a common aspiration of our people, to deepen integration with the countries of South America.”

“Joining MERCOSUR as an associate Member is another step in that direction,” he said. “It is my belief that the bridge between the South and the Caribbean is getting stronger as both Guyana and Suriname are members of CARICOM, UNASUR and now associate members of MERCOSUR.”

Ramotar said the country’s interest in membership was not “just a mere indication of our interest in trade matters,” calling it a “political statement that Guyana, small as we are, recognize the importance of integration in all its forms for the upliftment of our people.”

Ramotar was joined by Guyana Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett on the trip.

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