Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni K. Singh yesterday met with the United Nation’s Deputy Secretary-General (DSG), Amina J. Mohammed, in Santiago, Chile. During their discussion, Minister Singh reiterated the country’s appreciation of the role the UN played in safeguarding democracy in 2020 and updated the DSG on the economic developments and prospects in Guyana. Minister Singh also reaffirmed government’s commitment to advance implementation of Agenda 2030 aimed at achieving the SDGs, notwithstanding the challenging global economic context.
Dr Singh is in Chile for the Sixth Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development currently underway there. Yesterday, during his presentation as part of the panel which addressed ‘Strategies to Advance Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean’, the Minister highlighted two pertinent strategies to advance the national and sub-regional agenda in a manner fully consistent with Agenda 2030, namely CARICOM’s ‘25 by 2025’ food security strategy being spearheaded by Guyana as well as its second-generation Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) which is a successor to the first LCDS.
Guyana has demonstrated intellectual leadership and global advocacy in climate action. The Low Carbon Development Strategy sought to transition its development along a low carbon development trajectory, while simultaneously combatting climate change. In 2022, a major milestone was achieved for Guyana and forest countries in the world in the achievement of that vision – when the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions Secretariat issued the world’s first jurisdiction-scale, market-ready carbon credits to Guyana. In total, almost 33.5 million credits were issued for the period 2016-2020, one of the biggest issuances of carbon anywhere in the world.
A second major milestone was also achieved in 2022, through the sale of a significant percentage of Guyana’s ART-TREES credits. Under the agreement, Hess Corporation will buy 2.5 million credits per year for 2016 to 2030 to a total of 37.5 million credits for a minimum payment of US$750 million to be paid to Guyana between 2022 and 2032.
Guyana also holds the portfolio for responsibility for Agriculture, Agricultural Diversification and Food Security in CARICOM, and is spearheading the regional efforts of reducing its food import bill. The strategy outlines specific actions that are required by each state in achieving the 25 by 2025 goal of reducing CARICOM’s food import bill by 25 percent by 2025.
Guyana is amongst the fastest growing economies in the world, with growth of 62.3 percent recorded last year and medium-term average annual growth projected at 25 percent for the period 2023 to 2026. It is now considered as a premier investment destination, attractive for investment in the oil and gas sector, infrastructure and the requisite support services.
Recognising the importance of a strong diversified economic base, the Government of Guyana, placed the highest level of importance on a strong non-oil economy and its policies have been focused on modernising the traditional pillars of the economy and catalysing a rapidly growing and highly competitive non-oil economy. Further, in this environment of rapid expansion, the administration has put mechanisms in place to mitigate the impact of external shocks on the country’s economy. This is evident with Guyana’s non-oil economy growing by an estimated 11.5 percent in 2022, building on the 4.6 percent growth recorded in 2021, and over the medium-term is forecasted well above global levels.
The Government of Guyana prioritises the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its efforts to secure broad-based economic development, which is demonstrated in successive national budgets in recent years that are in close alignment with Agenda 2030 and national priorities.
While meeting with the UN Deputy Secretary General yesterday, Dr. Singh also used the opportunity to advocate for continued attention to the challenges being faced by the smallest and most vulnerable member states of the UN, particularly the small islands of the Caribbean.
Ms. Amina Mohamed first joined the United Nations in 2012 and led the process that resulted in global agreement around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals.