Guyana and EU inks financing agreement worth over £23 million – 20th Jun 2013
The agreement was signed between the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh and witnessed by the European Union’s Ambassador, Robert Kopecky. It is part of an ongoing assistance programme to boost the economy, following a radical change in trading arrangements for sugar between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of countries, of which Guyana is apart of.
Since 2006, Guyana has received some £91 million.
It was in 2006 that Europe began to reduce the price for sugar, four years into the arrangement, the price was cut by 36%.
Guyana is benefitting from the EU financing under the condition that the Guyana Sugar Corporation must set specific goals and achieve them.
The industry has to meet a series of Specific Conditions in investments and performance in areas including replanting, land conversion, mechanical harvesting, drainage works and factory improvement. In addition, The Ministry of Finance must meet the General Conditions of stability oriented macroeconomic conditions and implementation of reforms to further improve Public Financial Management.
The Finance Minister said that the revised five-year strategic plan for the sugar industry will be finalised by GUYSUCO’s Board of Directors shortly and it is expected to fully address the plight of the industry and outline the measures that will foster its revival and ensure it survives.
Ambassador Kopecky welcomed the launching of the new sugar strategy.
The Ambassador said the European Union has always been fully cognisant of sugar’s multifunctional role in Guyana; it being a key contributor to employment, rural stability, the national drainage and irrigation network, social services and economy as a whole. Mr. Kopecky urged the Government and the Sugar Corporation to work diligently to ensure that the entire sum earmarked for the programme is disbursed and to continue to modernise the industry and take up the marketing opportunities for raw sugar and its value-added by-products in countries of the European Union and elsewhere.