President David Granger on Wednesday, informed India’s Minister of State, Mr. Satyapal Singh that the Guyana Government is keen on restoring the sugar industry to profitability and is open to cooperation with the Indian Government and investors from India.
India remains the largest sugar producing country in the world.
The Indian Minister of State is currently on a four-day visit to Guyana to meet with Government officials and explore areas of cooperation in an effort to deepen the 50 year-old Guyana-India ties.
Speaking of all the different types of sugar that are produced around the world and are branded ‘Demerara Sugar’, the Head of State said that “we need to develop our capacity to produce pure Demerara crystals… We already have trained labour, we need the technology and so we welcome Indian investors in the sugar industry… It is still a potentially lucrative area for investment,” he said.
The Indian Minister spoke of the technologies that have been developed in his country for the sugar industry over the years and said that they are ready to assist Guyana to preserve its sugar industry on which thousands of Guyanese depend for their livelihood. In December last year, the President had made it clear that there are some necessary adjustments that are required to ensure the industry’s viability but that Government has no intention of shutting it down.
Meanwhile, Minister Singh expressed his appreciation of Guyana’s full support of India at all international forums including the International Solar Alliance (ISA), which recently held its founding conference in New Delhi, India. This forum was attended by President Granger. “We are happy to be part of the ISA and to be able to contemplate cooperation with the Republic of India, particularly in the area of technology… Our relations are very deep and wide and collaboration on environmental issues and energy development are very, very important to us at this time. Guyana can learn a lot from India…,” he said.
While lauding Guyana’s ‘green’ development agenda, Minister Singh responded that India is willing to assist Guyana in this regard, noting that they have amassed considerable experience and have highly developed technologies in harnessing solar, hydro and wind power. The Minister also spoke of the possibility of assisting Guyana to strengthen its security sector by offering training in the area of forensic science and training for police officers. President Granger noted that this is an area in which Guyana can benefit from significantly.