Georgetown, Guyana – (September 13, 2017) President David Granger, today, accepted Letters of Credence from Her Excellency Lilian Chatterjee, accrediting her the High Commissioner Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to Guyana. The new High Commissioner replaces His Excellency Pierre Giroux whose tour of duty ended in July.
The President said that while the two countries have much in common in terms of stable economies and plural societies, Guyana has much to learn from Canada especially in the areas of social cohesion and inclusionary democracy. To this end, he said that the Government welcomes the active cooperation between the two states in enhancing parliamentary democracy and good governance.
“Canada, the second largest country in the world, is renowned for its openness to immigrants from all round the world. It remains a model of diversity and inclusion. Thousands of Guyanese have been accepted as immigrants and citizens of your country,” President Granger said.
Additionally, Guyana looks forward to a sustained and robust partnership with Canada through the CARICOM-Canada mechanism, the Commonwealth, the Organisation of American States and the United Nations.
Canada is home to a large Guyanese diaspora and President Granger said that Guyana has likewise proven to be an attractive destination for Canadian investment in mining, banking and, more recently, oil and gas exploration.
In terms of green development, the President said that Guyana looks forward to working with Canada in the development of local alternative energy sources and in the sustainable development of our natural resources.
High Commissioner Chatterjee, in her remarks, described Guyana-Canada relationship as extraordinary and noted that people-to-people links between the two states remain strong while bilateral and commercial relations have been continuously expanding. “Merchandise between our countries for 2016 was over $700M, positioning Guyana as Canada’s largest merchandise trading market within CARICOM and the third largest in the Caribbean. Canada is now Guyana’s top destination for exports,” she said.
Additionally, Canadian companies have a robust presence in Guyana in the extractive, aviation, education, clean technology, oil and gas and infrastructure sectors. The High Commissioner said that with Guyana poised to become a major oil producer and exporter in the near future, the opportunities for further cooperation will increase significantly.
Guyana and Canada established diplomatic ties on May 26, 1966, the date of Guyana’s Independence.