Last Updated on Monday, 19 September 2022, 16:59 by Denis Chabrol
President Irfaan Ali has said there is a steep increase in the demand for Guyana passports over the past 18 months, but he stayed clear of saying whether it was linked to his country’s emerging oil and gas sector.
He told an inter-faith forum on Sunday in Queens, New York that a shortage of Guyana’s passports due to global supply chain bottlenecks has been worsened by a spike in the demand for that travel document. “We live in a global system. The supply chain crisis is real,” he said, noting that Guyana’s passports are manufactured in Canada.
“I don’t know why but the demand for Guyanese passports has increased by 500 percent so unfortunately, we are hit with the perfect storm. We are hit with a supply chain crisis and a rapid increase in the demand for the passport,” he said. The President said 18 months ago, Guyana ordered 80,000 passports and “we’re continuously ordering.”
Foreign Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that, in addition to supply chain problems, more Guyanese have been renewing their passports because of political stability, predictability and increased economic activity largely linked to the oil and gas sector. “It’s not only oil but oil is the trigger point but also you have some level of political stability, you have some level of predictability and people have greater confidence because of the economic growth, the economic opportunities and, yes, oil and gas is an area that is a catalyst,” he said.
Home Affairs Minister Minister Robeson Benn, whose portfolio includes immigration, did not immediately respond to questions.