Guyana-Jamaica Joint Commission reactivated for cooperation programme

-pacts signed with Chile for teaching of Spanish, natural resources partnership

President David Granger (at left) with Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness during their meeting yesterday. (Ministry of the Presidency photo)

The Guyana-Jamaica Joint Commission, which has been dormant for some time, will be reactivated and will form the platform for areas of cooperation between the two countries, President David Granger said following a meeting yesterday with Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Granger and his delegation, which included Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge and Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Audrey Waddell, also met yesterday with Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera and his delegation and they discussed mutual interests and signed agreements for the teaching of Spanish in Guyana and for enhanced cooperation in energy and natural resources.

Speaking with the Guyanese media yesterday after meeting with Holness at the venue of the 39th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the Department of Public Information (DPI) reported Granger as saying that the Guyana-Jamaica Joint Commission, which was inaugurated in 1997, will be reactivated to form the basis of a three-year cooperation programme between the two countries.  

The meeting between Holness and himself has opened avenues for development between Guyana, Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean, Granger said.

“Coming out of the [Bruce] Golding Report there is a new energy in Caribbean relations. We are looking at the perpetuation of the Caribbean relations and we have accepted that we need to pay interest on things like food security. Guyana has land space,” Granger stated.

As the Guyanese and Jamaican delegations discussed cooperation in the areas of food security and agriculture, petroleum, crime and security, the DPI quoted Granger as saying, “I am confident that the Caribbean as a whole could produce all the food that is needed for the hotel industry, for the people of the region.”

The meeting also discussed Guyana’s emerging oil and gas sector and its economic impact on the region. “We looked at energy and as you know, Guyana is on the brink of going into a new industry and we are looking at the possibility of that resource being used…to enrich the Caribbean’s access to energy. We also looked at public security… [to discuss] threats of trafficking in persons, threats of terrorism and money laundering,” he said.

Granger said the report of the Golding-led CARICOM Review Commission has resulted in an upsurge of new energy in Caribbean relations which Guyana is prepared to capitalise on.

On Guyana’s bilateral ties with sister-CARICOM States, he said, he is looking forward to building on the existing relationship between Guyana and Barbados under the leadership of Prime Minister Mia Mottley.

Following his meeting with Chilean President Pinera, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge and Chile’s Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs Alfonso Silva Navarro signed two agreements; one for the teaching of Spanish in Guyana and the other for enhanced cooperation in the areas of energy and natural resources.

The Foreign Affairs Minister noted that Guyana and the Caribbean have over the years been developing close relationships with Chile.

“We have been working on areas of cooperation such as the teaching of languages. Chilean professors have come down to Georgetown to teach Spanish to even officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

The Guyanese and Chilean delegations also discussed the possibility of Guyana taking advantage of Chile’s experience in the mining sector. 

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