This was the first ever visit of S Jaishankar to Guyana as India’s External Affairs Minister
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday concluded his three-day (April 21-23) visit to Guyana, where he called on Prime Minister PM Mark Phillips and discussed issues of mutual interests, including energy, disaster resilience and preparedness and defence cooperation.

“Glad to call on Prime Minister Mark Phillips of Guyana. Discussed energy, disaster resilience & preparedness and defence cooperation. India will partner Guyana in its developmental journey,” EAM Jaishankar said in his tweet.

Earlier, the EAM also called on Guyanese President Irfaan Ali and Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo at the State House and conveyed the personal greetings and warm regards of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They also discussed cricket and millets.

“Natural to discuss cricket on a visit to Guyana-the land of Rohan Kanhai and Lance Gibbs. Also noted the enthusiasm of President Irfaan Ali for Millets after his visit to India,” EAM Jaishankar wrote.

EAM Jaishankar had previously spoken at the India-Guyana Business Round Table, where he expressed gratitude for the involvement of Hugh Todd, the foreign minister, Ashni Singh, the finance minister, and Deodat Indar, the minister of public works.

“Addressed the India-Guyana Business Round Table. Appreciate participation of Foreign Minister Hugh Todd, Finance Minister Ashni Singh & Public Works Minister Deodat Indar. The presence of a @FollowCII delegation is a reflection of India’s growing engagement with Latin America,” EAM Jaishankar tweeted.

On the sidelines of the round table, he also met Guyanese cricketers Ramnaresh Sarwan and Steven Jacobs. On Twitter, he shared glimpses of their meeting and wrote,

“In Guyana, cricket is never far away. Good to meet Ramnaresh Sarwan and Steven Jacobs at the India-Guyana Business Round Table.”

Earlier in the trip, Jaishankar and his Guyanese counterpart Hugh Todd co-chaired the 5th India-Guyana Joint Commission Meeting, where they had in-depth discussions about agriculture, energy, health and pharmaceuticals, ayurveda and wellness, defense cooperation, human resources, tech and innovation, and infrastructure development.

This was Jaishankar’s first visit to Guyana as the External Affairs Minister.

Home to Indian origin people for the past 180 years, Guyana has always enjoyed warm relations with India. Since its independence in 1966, Guyana has received generous support from India in fulfilling its developmental goals.

India has helped the Latin American country in completing a National Cricket Stadium. India invested $25 million in building the cricket stadium. India also supplied and installed 50 solar traffic lights worth $2.1 million and set up drainage pumps. It also provided $2 million for setting up a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology.

According to the Georgetown-based Indian High Commission, some projects are under completion such as oceangoing vessel/passenger ferry, construction for East Bank East-Coast Road linkage, acquisition of fixed and mobile pumps and associated structures and spare, upgradation of three regional hospitals, rice husk gasifier and assistance for quick impact community development projects.

In February this year, Guyana Vice President Dr Jagdeo visited India and called on President Droupadi Murmu.

While welcoming the Guyanese Vice President to Rashtrapati Bhawan, the President noted that “Even though India and Guyana are separated geographically by a large distance, both have many aspects in common, such as a colonial past, predominantly agricultural and rural based economies, and multicultural societies.”

The President further noted that trade between India and Guyana is on an upward trajectory. In 2021-22, despite the pandemic the bilateral trade witnessed a growth of over 300 percent. She stressed on the need to further diversify the bilateral trade.

The President said that development partnership is a major pillar of India-Guyana relations. She was happy to note that more than 640 Guyanese Government officials have been trained under our ITEC programme so far. She expressed confidence that his visit would further deepen historical bonds of friendship between India and Guyana.

Bilateral trade between India and Guyana recorded a significant increase of 46% in 2020-21. India’s export to Guyana registered an increase of 41.56% while India’s import from the Latin American country registered an increase of 62.16%.