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Guyana is now UK’s single largest trading partner in the Caribbean

Last Updated on Friday, 3 June 2022, 7:54 by Denis Chabrol

British High Commissioner to Guyana, Jane Miller and President Irfaan as well as Governance Minister Gail Teixeira toast to the good health and well-being of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II

The United Kingdom is boasting increasing trade with Guyana, making this oil-rich nation its single largest trading partner in the Caribbean British High Commissioner to Guyana Jane Miller said Thursday night. 

Addressing the Queen’s Birthday Party, she said total trade between the UK and Guyana last year amounted to 560 million pounds sterling (approximately US$703,769,568), representing 21.6 percent of all trade between the UK and the Caribbean and “making Guyana the UK’s largest trading partner with the Caribbean.”

Putting the figures into perspective, back in 2011 trade between the two countries totalled 94 million pounds sterling (approximately US$118,126,858). “The trade has expanded six times in the last 10 years,” she added.

High Commissioner Miller said plans were being explored to establish a British Chamber of Commerce in Guyana.

President Irfaan Ali, who also addressed Thursday night’s event, met top business executives and British politicians in London earlier this year, a move that High Commissioner Miller says has set the tone for improved trade relations between Guyana and Britain. “As a result of this visit, particularly His Excellency meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, we are now in the process of developing a more formal framework that will enable a deeper relationship including for future commercial engagements,” he said.

President Irfaan Ali said major financial institutions in Britain have a huge chunk of money to invest in Guyana. “I was at a very important meeting with huge financial institutions in the UK and what I heard in that meeting was mind-blowing; that is assessing the risk of Guyana, assessing all that has to be done. There is an envelope of resources through the UK that is there for government and the private sector that is in the hundreds of millions of pounds,” he said.

The President also said that Guyana and the UK were working to remove trade barriers to allow smooth access of Guyanese products to that European market.

The British High Commissioner credits the improved trading relationship to the hard work of the UK’s Department for International Trade.

The UK’s Deputy Trade Commissioner for Latin America and the Caribbean visited Guyana last year.

Earlier this year, a British trade mission visited Guyana and a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the long-established business organization named the Caribbean Council.

Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton, Leader of the Alliance For Change Khemraj Ramjattan, City Mayor Ubraj Narine and other top politicians and business executives attended the event.