Guyana pushes ambition to be continental gateway

Stabroek News
June 27, 2003

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Guyana is currently following two intercontinental infrastructure projects which could result in the country becoming a gateway to Latin America, says Minister of Foreign Affairs Rudy Insanally.

These projects are the upgrading of the Guyana/Brazil road and the possibility of linking Caracas with Georgetown.

To this end, Public Works Minister, Anthony Xavier will attend a meeting in Caracas over the weekend dealing with the integration of infrastructure development in South America.

Insanally told a press conference that at that meeting Guyana would have the opportunity to develop the idea of serving as a gateway, both aerial and maritime, for Latin America.

There had been some progress on the idea of developing a road to Caracas, he said, noting that the Andean Development Corporation had indicated a willingness to provide some funding for a feasibility study.

He pointed out that Universal Airlines would soon be flying to Brazil and other countries and that this would also develop Guyana’s rapport with the region.

Touching on other issues at a media briefing on Wednesday, Insanally said Guyana had represented Caricom at both the Rio Group dialogue in Peru and at the European Union summit in Athens, Greece.

In the aftermath of the war in Iraq, he said the meeting in Greece served to bring the EU and the countries of Latin America into a closer understanding of the issues the region needed to address. Both Latin America and the EU saw the issue of social cohesion as major problems for their countries, Insanally suggested.

Discussions with the EU also centred on additional sources of financing, a recurrent theme for developing countries.

He felt that the developed countries were now willing to look at some proposals in relation to the new global human order. But he said discussions were at an early stage.

As for the Rio Summit in Peru, the host country had put forward a proposal for 20% of the debts owed by poor countries to be put into the development of infrastructure throughout the region.

That idea is to be taken to the G8 countries by the Presidents of Mexico and Brazil.

On the issue of security, the meeting noted that the situation in Colombia had deteriorated with the conflict as well as the drug trade finding other routes and affecting countries in the hemisphere. Insanally said the meeting had decided that the Rio Group should ask the Secretary General of the United Nations to become involved before the situation worsened.

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