Suriname and Guyana have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of a high-span bridge over the Corentyne River linking the two countries.
The MOU was signed by Foreign Affairs, International Business, and International Cooperation Minister, Albert Ramdin and his Guyanese counterpart, Hugh Todd, during a news conference hosted by President.
Chandrikapersad Santokhi and his visiting counterpart, Dr. Irfaan Ali, who is on his first official visit since his election in August.
“Once constructed, not if constructed, the bridge will serve as a permanent physical link between the people of Guyana and Suriname but more importantly, that link to the rest of the South American continent,” President Ali said.
“We recognise the enormous benefit that this can bring in the area of tourism, transportation and trade. To this end, we have expanded our discussions where we can jointly promote business opportunities and tourism opportunities for both countries.
“ It is therefore expected that the proposed road alignment will create within its vicinity the possibilities for free trade zone, enhanced land value, reduce the cost of doing business and increase the ease of doing business,” he added.
President Santokhi said the bridge would mark a new era for both countries in several areas.
“This bridge on the Corentyne River is not only important to facilitate the movement of persons and goods, trade and cross border cooperation. It also symbolises a transition from the old to a new era. The era of wellbeing and prosperity of our people and freedom, democracy and the rule of law,” he said.
In early October, Guyana’s Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, along with his Surinamese counterpart Dr. Riad Nurmohamed visited the proposed site for the bridge.
Additionally, the two countries signed a strategic dialogue and cooperation agreement today. It will be the formal mechanism used by the two countries to implement projects.
“This establishes a framework for dialogue and cooperation which will guide our future collaborative efforts aimed at improving the lives of our people in every possible way. We expect that the joint working groups will meet expeditiously, to agree and activate their work programme,” President Ali said.
November 25 marks 45 years of formal diplomatic ties between Guyana and Suriname.
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