While Guyana attaches importance to its membership of Caricom it also believes its continental integration has become more relevant and necessary and in this context, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) is extremely important, according to President Donald Ramotar.
Speaking at the December 7 MERCOSUR summit in Brazil, Ramotar said that his government will be considering a deeper involvement with the regional trading bloc, according to a copy of his remarks released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs..
According to the President, “MERCOSUR has emerged as one of the most dynamic and imaginative responses to globalization. It certainly was not created by mere coincidence but towards strengthening the ability of individual countries to use their collectivity to face the new era of international economic relations. Despite the challenges and risks which accompany globalization, every economic indicator points to MERCOSUR’s remarkable achievement over the last decade.”
He said that the integration is helping to enhance relations among countries in the sub-region, forging a new sense of shared leadership and shared purpose which is sending waves of hope across the continent and further afield. He continued that “we should never underestimate the cohesive power of trade. It brings people together fostering new understandings between businesses and their communities. This integration movement, however, goes beyond trade to encompass cross border cooperation, greater movement of people and converging infrastructure. Our shared agenda should be broad based and include collaboration in all aspects of development. The immense global challenges require readiness and vision to work together on the basis of the many core values that we embrace.”
He continued, “Our collective vision of growth, economic prosperity and stability for Latin America and the Caribbean must be strengthened. It is therefore heartening to note that both MERCOSUR and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have already signalled their intention to pursue a programme of joint collaboration in the near future.”
“As a small developing country we in Guyana are reminded daily of the fact that smaller units operating on their own are not a viable counterweight in this rapidly changing world. Integration is the logical answer to achieving the economic growth and sustainable development necessary to address the asymmetries and vulnerabilities of our small developing economies.
“We therefore attach significant importance to our membership in CARICOM but also believe our continental integration has become more relevant and necessary for further development.”
He added “We are now beginning to witness the process of an inevitable marriage between MERCOSUR and UNASUR, with the latter providing the necessary complementary support which is needed to propel the region forward.
The president sees a logical progression of convergence as envisaged in the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty, since trade, like the environment and the war on organized crime or migration, is no longer a matter that may be handled by a single country or through simple dialogue between two countries. “My Government will therefore be considering a deeper involvement in MERCOSUR and I look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership in the near future.”
Ramotar said that Guyana was grateful for the opportunity to be part of the dialogue and reminded that in 1999 Guyana and MERCOSUR signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote their economic relations, especially in the fields of trade and investment.
He reiterated Guyana’s commitment to the regional integration process underway in the hemisphere with a view to modernizing the economies and fostering a durable and sustainable socio-economic development. He recognized the leadership and vision of Brazil in strengthening ties and promoting a solid development partnership with Guyana and the wider Caribbean Community.