Guyana 's climb into middle-income bracket could limit access to soft resources
May 4, 2007
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Rudy Insanally, believes that Guyana is on the verge of entering the group of countries considered to be ‘middle-income nations'.
Addressing the media on the outcome of the 13th Rio Group and European Union (EU) Ministerial Meeting, held in the Dominican Republic, Minister Insanally said that entering the middle-income bracket could reduce assess to soft loans from various lending agencies.
“We are now on the verge of joining other countries at the middle-income level, but middle-income countries do not have as much access to soft finances…We are seeing hope with problems of development,” Minister Insanally stated.
He added that within the Rio Group members, poverty still exists.
Dr. Insanally also disclosed that Guyana recently established formal diplomatic ties with Slovenia and Estonia at the Ministerial Meeting and urged other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to cultivate relationships with “the new Europe .
“They may not be as powerful as the big partners, but they have a say in the decision-making of the EU,” Dr. Insanally stated.
He added that the EU/Rio Group Meeting offered an opportunity to exchange views on a number of issues, including Haiti , strengthening of multilateralism, development of middle-income states, and the fight against poverty, environment and climate changes and the energy sector.
Challenges faced by middle-income countries in the development process were emphasized, and the need was expressed for the design and implementation of a strategy for fighting poverty.
On Haiti , Minister Insanally said that the island, which is recovering from political turmoil, has joined the Rio Group. He noted that the EU is prepared to give €230 million to assist with Haiti 's efforts to preserve its democracy.
During the Meeting, the EU emphasised that the energy issue is being considered in relation to issues of environment and climate change, he said.
Representatives of both regions agreed that the topic of renewable energy has already become a reality.
The Foreign Minister noted that no final communiqué was issued, but this could be as a result of the negotiators being unable to craft an acceptable agreement within the timeframe of the meeting. A press release was crafted and disseminated.
The meeting with the EU was a follow-up to the 19th Rio Group Summit, which was held in Guyana last March.