Wide-ranging cooperation and partnership between countries creating fruitful opportunities in all areas
While China and Guyana join forces to create a more conducive environment for bolstering bilateral economic and trade relations, both government officials and business leaders believe that the two countries will discover opportunities to expand the partnership across a multitude of sectors.
As Guyana continues to experience sustained economic and social development, there is an urgent need to enhance infrastructure. Chinese companies, known for their experience and robust capabilities in infrastructure construction, are keen to participate in Guyana's digital transformation, urban planning and other infrastructure projects, said Zhao Ping, dean of the Academy of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
She said that the collaboration with China is essential to support Guyana's efforts in bolstering exports and building more infrastructure and service facilities.
Driven by their complementary industrial structures, the value of China-Guyana trade expanded by 164.9 percent year-on-year to $1.88 billion in 2022, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed.
The South American country mainly exports crude oil, aquatic products, sugar, timber and rum to China. Meanwhile, China ships construction machinery, motorcycles, manufacturing equipment, steel, electronics, textiles, garments and household appliances to Guyana.
During his visit to China in late July, Guyanese President Irfaan Ali said his country is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in areas such as agriculture and energy, and that enhanced people-to-people exchanges will help achieve mutual development and progress.
Addressing the High-level Dialogue of the Guyana-China Joint Business Development Council in Beijing on July 31, Ali said the Guyanese government places high importance on attracting foreign investment, promoting foreign trade, enhancing infrastructure development and boosting the competitiveness of its manufacturing industry.
President Ali said Guyana possesses abundant resources in forestry, minerals, energy, agriculture and tourism and is eager to strengthen practical cooperation with China in economic and trade fields, aiming for mutual benefit and win-win outcomes.
Driven by strong momentum in the oil and gas industry, Guyana's development prospects are promising. The country saw its economy grow at a remarkable rate of 62.3 percent in 2022, making it the fastest-growing economy globally. According to information released by the Guyanese government, the economy is projected to maintain an average annual growth rate of 25 percent through 2026.
Chinese oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd announced in mid-August that progress was being made overseas including the exploration of the Stabroek block in Guyana.
CNOOC Ltd is the exploration and production arm of China National Offshore Oil Corp, the country's top offshore oil and gas driller and one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the world.
"The company made new records in oil and gas reserves and production volume during the first six months of this year while delivering better-than-expected operating results in Guyana," said Wang Dongjin, chairman of the State-owned CNOOC.
After delivering a service infrastructure expansion project at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Timehri, Guyana, in 2022, China Harbor Engineering Company, a subsidiary of State-owned China Communication Construction Co, announced earlier this year that it is building a $50 million hotel in the country for its client Trinuyana Investments, a consortium formed by Guyanese and Trinidadian investors.
The hotel will boast 150 rooms and is expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2024. In proximity to the Eugene F. Correia International Airport in Georgetown, the project will create more than 400 jobs during the construction phase.
Upon completion and commencement of operations, the hotel will generate around 140 permanent jobs for local residents, said Lu Yunpeng, general manager of CHEC's Americas division.
In addition to investing in telecommunication businesses in Guyana, Chinese companies, such as Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp, have helped countries like Guyana, Pakistan, Egypt, Uganda and Mozambique to build internetconnected classrooms, national broadband, e-government networks and e-commerce platforms, according to information released by the China International Development Cooperation Agency.