British Trade Commissioner to Latin America and the Caribbean, Jonathan Knott has indicated that trade between Guyana and the United Kingdom (UK) has increased by almost 50% during the fourth quarter of this year.
“I think we are in a really exciting moment because trade between UK and Guyana has grown by 50% in the fourth quarter, this last quarter,” the Trade Commissioners told reporters during a press conference at the British High Commissioner’s residence on Wednesday.
According to the UK’s Department for International Trade, as of November 2, 2022, total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and Guyana was £750 million in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022 – an increase of 45.9% or £236M when compared to the same period last year.
It was explained that total UK exports to Guyana amounted to £454 million while UK imports from Guyana amounted to £296 million.
Guyana is the UK’s 90th largest trading partner, accounting for 0.1% of total UK trade.
Trade Commissioner Knott said the UK-Guyana Partnership Agreement signed on Wednesday, together with the enhanced partnership agreement with CARIFORUM, augurs well for Guyana.
Under the UK-Guyana Partnership Agreement, the two sides are expected to form a joint working group, which is intended to lay the foundation for increased commercial partnership in the areas of infrastructure, social housing, education, health, agriculture, Agri-tech and technology among other areas.
Mr Knott said the UK is ready to meet the needs of Guyana and will deliver a high quality of goods and services as part of a long-term partnership.
“We would like to introduce quality UK companies to Guyana, companies who would have delivered before with experience, companies who would have delivered in Latin America and the Caribbean, companies with cutting edge technology and solution. So, Guyana can choose from the best possible selection,” Mr Knott said.
He said the Trade Mission currently in Guyana includes some of UK’s leading companies that are excited to bring their expertise here, and the Government of UK will ensure the absolute best is given to the people of Guyana.
“Our priority is to make sure those companies bring efficiency, bring complete transparency but bring quality, and I think that’s the other think I’ll stress, the UK is here for the long term. Our companies don’t want to come, sell something, deliver a service, then head back home. The companies we brought here in the Trade Mission this time around but also the ones we would like to bring in the future, want to have a long-term relationship with Guyana. They want to make sure that the products, the services, the contributions they make to the development of Guyana last for years, whether it’s a road, whether it’s a hospital, whether it’s a school,” the British Trade Commissioner said.
It is Mr Knott’s expectation that the joint working group will define and deliver a time-bound action plan. “We expect the working group to deliver the innovation, the technology, the knowledge, which is needed to support faster, fairer, greener growth in Guyana,” he said during the signing ceremony held at the Guyana Marriott on Wednesday.
British High Commissioner Jane Miller has deemed the trade mission a success. “I think they are really impressed and they see massive, massive opportunities here…I am quite sure we will see many more [British companies] coming back,” she told reporters as she applauded the move to sign the Guyana-UK partnership agreement.
Already, President Irfaan Ali has indicated that incentives will be offered to companies that invest in Guyana now.