GEORGETOWN – The president of Guyana, Irfaan Ali has sought to assure the United States that his country is ready to guarantee America’s energy security.
He made the statement as members of the Congressional House Ways and Means Committee are here, laying the groundwork to displace China as a preferred business partner in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“I even asked the Congressional delegation to ensure that Guyana and the US can advance the strategic partnership formally on energy security for the United States and Guyana and climate security and on food security,” he said.
Following a meeting with Ali, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Jason Smith issued a statement in which he said that the aim of the Biden administration is to lead the way in developing, extracting, and selling Guyanese oil and that this increasing production has the potential to greatly benefit both the US and Guyana, and help thwart China’s attempts to achieve energy dominance.
“China also is participating in Guyana’s oil production. America must be committed to outcompeting China around the world while strengthening key American supply chains, increasing US production of affordable energy resources, and improving partnerships with allies in the Western Hemisphere and beyond. Our delegation’s meetings have shown how US bilateral relationships in the region benefit American workers and provide a much-needed alternative to countries that might otherwise orient their economies toward China,” he said in a statement.
In their meetings with the Congressional delegation, the government of Guyana as well as members of the opposition discussed relations with China and Venezuela. Chinese companies have over the decades won major infrastructural contracts and provided multimillion dollar loans.
Ali, in referring to the United States as a “trusted partner”, he said that Guyana is open to more American investors.
“Guyana is and will continue to be an important strategic partner of the United States and the opportunities here are open to all and open to the United States and your private sector and we want to see greater participation from the US private sector and the US here in Guyana. There is no second-guessing this agenda. This is a clear strategy of the government.”
Concerning climate change, Ali offered to provide “global” leadership in the area of climate services by teaming up with the US at the next global climate summit, Conference of the Parties”.
“We want the US to be a part of this, we want the US to be a strategic partner with us on the environment because we understand the importance of this relationship,” he said.
Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch lauded the Guyana government for taking steps to modernise the country.
“We applaud the government of Guyana for the strides it has taken to make this country so attractive to investors. They have been excellent partners in energy, in agri-business and in security. They are taking bold leaps to transform the financial, education, health and tourism sectors,” she said.
The delegation from the United States comprised chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Smith and other members Terri Sewell, Carol Miller, Michelle Fischbach, Beth Van Duyne, Mike Carey as well as Kelly Armstrong of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. (CMC)