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Guyana becomes UK’s largest trading partner in the Caribbean

–as trade increases six-fold in 10 years

GUYANA has become the United Kingdom (UK)’s largest trading partner in the Caribbean, after trade between the two nations in 2021 amounted to 516 million pounds, and accounted for 21.6 per cent of all the UK’s trade with the Caribbean.

This announcement was made by British High Commissioner to Guyana Jane Miller on Thursday evening at a local ceremony to commemorate the birth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II, at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Bel Air.

Miller noted that over the past ten years, trade between the UK and the Caribbean has seen massive increases.

“Total trade in goods and services between the UK and Guyana last year was 516 million pounds; this represents 21.6 per cent of all trade between the UK and the Caribbean, making Guyana the UK’s largest trading partner with the Caribbean. To give more perspective, in 2011 that was 94 million pounds, so trade has expanded six times in the last 10 years,” the British envoy noted.

At the celebration, Miller acknowledged the increase in trade between Guyana and the UK, which was further bolstered by a visit to Guyana by members of the Department for International Trade (DIT) last year, and a nine-member British delegation of business executives.

Notwithstanding the massive growth, Miller noted that there is still an enormous opportunity for further growth of this relationship.

“We had a trade mission; we are now beginning to see the fruits of that mission. The feedback I’ve had from businesses after the trade mission was amazing, and we expect more and more trade missions over the coming months. But, in addition, we continue to explore the opportunity of establishing a British Chamber of Commerce in Guyana,” the High Commissioner noted.

Coming out of the trade mission, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Caribbean Council, the longest established London business organisation.

In addition to the visits by the British delegation to Guyana, President Dr. Irfaan Ali also visited the UK earlier this year. There, he met with His Royal Highness Prince Charles; the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson; UK business owners, and Guyanese in the British Diaspora.

During his remarks at the event, President Ali commented on his visit to the UK, noting that there are significant resources in the UK that could be accessed by both the government and the private sector in Guyana.

“I was at a very important meeting with huge financial institutions in the UK, and what I heard in that meeting was mind-blowing; that is assessing the risk of Guyana, assessing all that has to be done. There is an envelope of resources through the UK that is there for the government and the private sector that is in the hundreds of millions of pounds,” he related.

“His Excellency President Ali made an excellent speech in the House of Lords to a packed audience of businesses, Lords and Ladies, Ministers, and the message was that Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean is open for business,” Miller related.

She further noted: “As a result of this visit, particularly His Excellency’s meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, they’re now developing a more formal framework that will enable a deeper relationship including for future commercial engagement.”