Ali to visit Brazil, Dominican Republic

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 April 2023, 22:27 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali embraces Brazil’s President Luis Inacio ‘Lula’ Da Silva at the latter’s inauguration. (file picture)

President Irfaan Ali  on Tuesday announced that he is due to visit Brazil in late May to hold talks with that South American giant’s President, Luis Inacio ‘Lula’ Da Silva.

“There, we will be discussing a very strong and robust plan for the integration of this region. As you are aware, there are some massive transformative projects that are on the table with Brazil,” he told the opening of the Annual General Meeting of the Private Sector Commission (PSC).

The date of the visit is yet to be confirmed.

President Ali later told Demerara Waves Online News that energy security for Brazil , Guyana and the region was expected to feature in discussions with his Brazilian counterpart. “As you recall, Brazil had varied interests over the years when President Lula was there on the hydro, and now with the development of our petroleum industry, I’m sure that there will be great and keen discussions around not only renewable but the petroleum industry,” he said. Under the umbrella of the Inter-American Development Bank, a feasibility study had green-light the Arco Norte natural gas supply project from Suriname and Guyana to electricity generation plants in Brazil.

He was not immediately sure whether the yet to be finalised agenda would include offering Brazil an offshore oil an oil block.  Recently, International Relations Professor Dr Mark Kirton had recommended that Brazil be awarded an oil block as part of Guyana’s border security strategy a that Portuguese-speaking nation has always maintained that its border would remain unchanged, in the context of Venezuela’s claim to the Essequibo Region.

President Ali’s visit to Brasilia would also come at a time when Guyana is keen on the construction of an all-weather road from Lethem, a southern Guyanese town near the Brazilian border, to Linden. Guyana hopes that such a road will become a cheaper and major route for the transportation of large quantities of Brazilian products to the Caribbean and North America through Guyana’s port.  Brazil and Guyana had in the past held talks about the establishment of a hydro-electric station here to serve both neighbouring South American nations.

During India’s Foreign Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s visit to Guyana from April 20-24, 2023, the President said the two countries would be advancing new projects, building agro-processing, manufacturing, value-added, research and development.

Meanwhile, Dr Ali said the President of the Dominican Republic Luis Abinader is expected to visit Guyana after which he would be returning with him to meet with major financial institutions and the private sector. “They are willing to work with local projects and to finance local projects here in Guyana,” he said. According to the Guyanese leader, that Spanish-speaking nation is “very keen on working with Guyana to advance their energy security.”

Also down on the schedule this year, a Guyanese delegation would be visiting China, and Washington DC in the United States to further advance relations and partnership on a number of transformative projects. The President said later in 2023 Guyana would be working with Cuba which has offered “some very strategic ideas on building out our human resource capacity” and advancing this country’s health care and services. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar have invited Guyana to discuss its development agenda and opportunities for the private sector. “In addition to all of these, we are managing our multilateral and bilateral interests so that Guyana remains well-represented, that we continue to advance in a w0rld that will promote peace, multilateralism-one in which democracy is protected and safeguarded, one in which the rights and freedoms of people are protected and safeguarded,” he told the audience that included top envoys from the United States, Canada, European Union and the United Nations.

The President also announced that he would be visiting the United Kingdom and the European Union to further strengthen relations, advance projects and build more collaboration with the private sector.