Encouraging signs from down south Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
April 5, 2002

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IT WAS encouraging that Governor of the Brazil State of Roraima, Mr. Nuedo Ribiero Campos, who leaves office today to run for the Senate in elections later this year, saw it fit to visit Guyana to give his reassurance and that of his Government for the continued support of the construction of the Takutu Bridge and the upgrading of the road linking Boa Vista in Roraima and Georgetown.

The Governor flew here Wednesday for talks on the issues with President Bharrat Jagdeo and to thank him for support and good neighbourliness during his term in office in Roraima.

Mr. Campos has been a strong advocate for the bridge and road and is enthusiastic about closer links between Roraima and Guyana, especially the access this country offers to trade routes from its coast.

The potential for massive trade links has been acknowledged by both neighbours and the completion of the bridge and road is vital to ensuring the development and expansion of trade between the two countries.

Guyana, which has suffered from reduced growth levels in recent years due mainly to political turmoil and the global economic recession, has tremendous potential economic benefits from this avenue of trade because of the many spin-off developments that would be created.

One problem that has affected the development of this country for a long time has been the concentration of people and industries on the coastland and the reluctance of Guyanese to venture into the interior areas.

The planned Guyana-Brazil trade route which traverses a large section of the Guyana interior, should therefore become a stimulus for more people to move from the coastland to the interior, thus contributing to the development of interior communities.

Government officials and others have often pertinently observed that Guyana has a unique location in South America and can become the link between the North American and other huge markets, and Brazil, the world's eighth largest market, on completion of the road from Lethem to Linden.

Guyana being the only English-speaking South American country is also a distinct advantage, it has been noted.

The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) scheduled to come into effect in 2005, could stimulate the growth of business and service-oriented industries and Guyana should gear itself to take advantage of this development.

Therefore, the faster the projects are completed the better for Guyana and the Government should spare no effort to ensure that these are done successfully and expeditiously.

The visit by Governor Campos this week is further evidence of the priority the Brazilians put on completing the links and Guyana has to help to keep the momentum going.

Work is continuing on the border Takutu River bridge and the pace should be kept up on all related aspects of a project that holds immense good prospects for Guyana and Guyanese.