India offers $25 million line of credit to Guyana

Tuesday, 26 August 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India has offered a $25 million line of credit to Guyana, which plans to use it for modernisation of its sugar mills, Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo said here Monday.

"A sugar mission from India has gone to Guyana to study the sugar mills there. Based on their report, we plan to utilise the line of credit offered for modernisation of the plants," Jagdeo told IANS.

He was speaking on the sidelines of an interactive meeting jointly organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

"Besides the line of credit being extended by India, we are looking for another $100 million credit for modernisation of the sugar mills, including setting up cogeneration facility for production of power utilising the sugarcane waste," the president said.

Leading a high-level ministerial delegation to discuss ways of enhancing economic and cultural cooperation, Jagdeo is accompanied by five representatives of the Guyanese chamber of commerce.

Guyana chamber representatives Monday signed a memorandum of understanding with the FICCI for the establishment of a joint business council.

During his five-day visit to India, Jagdeo is planning to visit Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu to study the working of some modern sugar mills that are utilising their waste for power generation.

Jagdeo said matters related to the upcoming WTO ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico, were discussed during his meeting with Commerce Minister Arun Jaitley.

"We have assured India that the 15-member Caribbean Community (Caricom), of which Guyana is a member, would support the developing nations on the implementation (of Doha Declaration), agriculture, TRIPS (trade related intellectual property rights) and health issues," said Jagdeo.

"We have also held preliminary discussions with the Indian commerce minister on the possibility of Caricom having preferential trade arrangements with India," he said.

In his address to industry representatives, the Guyana president said his country offered a good gateway to North and South American markets with its strategic location and its advantage of being in the same time zone.

Landlocked northern Brazil was, in fact, in the process of investing sizeable amounts in Guyana to build a road and bridge link to the Caribbean that would allow it to access the port area in less than half the 14 hours it takes now.

With new legislation in place to promote private and foreign investment, Jagdeo said Guyana offered an investor-friendly atmosphere.

Underlining his country's commitment to the private sector, Jagdeo said the government had retained control of only three strategic enterprises of the 48 state-owned enterprises a decade ago. The rest had been privatised.

The Guyana president is hopeful of tying up cooperation pacts with sectors like IT for technical cooperation during his visit here.

Currently several students from Guyana are undergoing IT training in India.

The visiting delegation is keen to send more students to India for training in other fields like medicine and pharmaceutical.

Source: IANS
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