Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh recently met with European Union (EU) Ambassador to Guyana Dr. Fernando Ponz Cantó at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre where the two officials co-chaired an important Policy Dialogue focused on EU-Guyana Development Cooperation. The meeting was a successful step towards further cooperation achievements for the benefit of Guyana’s citizens with discussions focused on the EU’s development cooperation programme with Guyana. The EU and Guyana have an increasingly close partnership, based on common values, objectives and interests covering all matters of mutual interest.
While addressing the meeting, Minister Singh placed on record the strong appreciation of the Government for the EU’s sustained support to Guyana over the years. He also expressed optimism that the strong relationship that Guyana and the EU enjoy will continue to grow in the years ahead as Guyana traverses this new phase in its economic history.
Ambassador Fernando Ponz Cantó pledged the European Union’s continued commitment to the EU-Guyana partnership as Guyana advances its development agenda as a new and emerging oil and gas producer. The Ambassador recalled the determination and resilience of the Guyanese people to preserve democratic norms and the rule of law. In particular, he commended the Government and the National Authorising Officer (NAO) for re-establishing this bi-lateral policy dialogue which had been absent during 2020 due to the political crisis and related events, and which is a fundamental element in the full normalization of cooperation including budget support.
Minister Singh then further reaffirmed Government’s appreciation for the EU budget support Programme.
The two delegations held wide-ranging discussions that focused on the Government’s ongoing investment Programme in the sea and river defense sector, including Mangroves. Both were key areas that underpin EU support over the last decades.
Additionally, Dr. Ashni Singh and the EU Ambassador held preliminary discussion on a new Technical Cooperation Facility valued at €2.73M in which Guyana will benefit from support for the implementation and development of policies to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Possible areas of support include health, livelihood development, biodiversity, forestry, governance and public financial management. The EU team also comprised Mr. Karel Lizerot, Head of Cooperation, and other members of the EU Delegation while the Ministry of Finance’s team included Mr. Tarachand Balgobin, Deputy National Authorising Officer (DNAO).
The EU Delegation in Guyana was established in December 1972 and is responsible for taking forward the EU-Guyana partnership including political, development, and socioeconomic relations, trade, and other major policy areas, based on solid human, cultural and historical links.