Joint CDB/IDB mission here on regional restructuring mission
Guyana Chronicle
February 28, 2002

CARIBBEAN Development Bank (CDB) President, Dr Compton Bourne said Monday that the prospects for Guyana’s sugar industry looks good.

He said he has no doubt that, with some reorganisation and centralisation, this country could compete on the world market for its sugar price.

Delivering a lecture at University of Guyana (UG), the distinguished son of the soil who was decorated with this nation’s highest national award, Order of Excellence, said sugar is one of the industries in the Caribbean that will need to be seriously examined.

Guyana, Suriname and Belize are the main producing states in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) but Bourne said the production cost exceeds international market prices.

Earlier Monday, Bourne, who arrived Sunday with other officials of CDB and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), met with President Bharrat Jagdeo and other members of the Guyanese Cabinet to discuss a wide range of issues, including ongoing CDB projects here and future programmes.

Among them are infrastructural development and social schemes and the future of Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) Skeldon Estate at Corentyne, Berbice, the Government Information Agency (GINA) said.

GINA said, next month, Government is expected to forward a document outlining proposals on which it will be seeking CDB assistance.

Deep water harbour facilities and for distance education and information technology are to be included in the submission, and Bourne said, the listing would have to be narrowed before discussions start on possible financing.

During their four-day stay, the CDB/IDB group is also scheduled to talk with more Government functionaries, representatives of the Private Sector and trade unions.

Bourne also had a meeting Monday with CARICOM Secretary General Dr Edwin Carrington on insights into the common regional problems also facing Guyana and how the two funding agencies can help.

A GINA news bulletin said it is part of a regional effort aimed at restructuring economies to better face the challenges of globalistion and trade liberalisation, as leaders in the Region have recognised the need for economic restructuring if their countries are to survive in the 21st Century.

GINA said, even before the September 11 events in the United States, CARICOM States have been under severe economic strain and regional leaders agreed to have a task force examine the situation.

The bulletin said Bourne and Carrington put the focus on the work of that grouping and the difficulty posed by the removal of preferential trade arrangements on which CARICOM has depended, the changes likely to emanate from the establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), declining foreign aid and technological developments in information and communication technology are some of the matters to be put under scrutiny.