Berbice `growth pole' critical
- President

Guyana Chronicle
November 28, 1999

PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo says Berbice is a "growth pole" and an area which will create more employment and widen the capacity for future investment in Guyana.

He Friday listed a number of schemes for the region and noted, in particular, that 11 firms have given the government expressions of interest to bridge the Berbice River.

The venture will, in the end, allow Berbicians to benefit from new jobs and educational opportunities and cause them to be fully integrated with the rest of the country, he told a graduating ceremony at the Rosignol Secondary School, West Coast Berbice.

Mr Jagdeo said the proposed expansion of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) in Berbice will also lead to the creation of more jobs.

He projected a production of some US$150M in this area, alone, once the expanded corporation is up and running.

Talks have started with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on a loan to aid in the construction of the East Canje Reservoir scheme, the President added.

It is anticipated that about 135,000 acres of land will benefit from this drainage and irrigation project.

President Jagdeo said he hopes the Berbice Mining Enterprise, another company in expansion, will consider opening a new mine in the Ituni district where a transshipment point for bauxite can be established.

The Unamco plywood mill located up the Berbice River, for which construction will begin next year, is due to provide more than 1,000 jobs, he pointed out.

With all these plans coming on stream, the President remarked it was likely that a deep water harbour will have to be built to allow cargo and vessels to enter and leave the Berbice River.

"It's a complex task...the Government is focussing, despite all the difficulties, on managing (the) country)," the President told the gathering, reminding them that his administration will be opening a campus of the University of Guyana in Berbice.

"I intend to focus on young people. I want new thinking, innovative ideas and enthusiasm to be captured in national development...", he added. (SHARON LALL)

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