No such thing as a free chow mein
Today’s column concludes my review of the strengthening of economic relations between Guyana and China. Or more accurately between China and Guyana since for China the relationship seems all part of their global strategy aimed at accessing raw materials for its unlimited needs and appetite to sustain its rapidly growing domestic and export markets. China clearly understands the link between a country’s domestic economic policy imperatives and its foreign policy. It recently played host in Beijing to several political leaders and officials from countries across Africa at a China-Africa Co-operation Forum, pampering them with attention and banquets and dangling before them preferential loans.
Just briefly, Guyana’s failure to connect the dots contrasts sharply with China’s, and explains why Minister Robeson Benn can justify a US$138 million expansion at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport built financed by the Chinese, who according to Benn came by with the money which Guyana duly grabbed. Apparently no one bothered to consider whether the project fitted in with our debt profile, our investment strategies, our economic priorities and our foreign policies. A couple of years ago we were excited with Libya and Kuwait. Yet the PPP/C’s 2011 Elections Manifesto had not a single reference to Libya, Kuwait or China, or indeed to foreign policy.
Regardless of whether or not there is a Guyana policy, as a country China is rapidly becoming the dominant player in Guyana. The Indians, no saints themselves, who have long had a stronghold in …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.