Guyana-India Bilateral Relations
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Guyana-India Bilateral Relations

The Commission of India was established in Georgetown in May 1965. The Commission was made into a full-fledged High Commission of India in 1968. The Indian Cultural Centre (now Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre) was set up in 1972. 


The relationship between India and Guyana ever since the independence of Guyana in May 1966 has been close and cordial with a high degree of understanding. The warmth in the relation remains unaffected with changes in governments either in India or in Guyana. Late Smt.Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, visited Guyana in 1968, late Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, the then Vice President of India visited Guyana in 1988 and Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, the then Vice President of India came on a state visit to Guyana in 2006. 


India and Guyana all along view each other as strategic partners and cooperate in the international arena where there exists a clear convergence of views on issues of mutual interest. Guyana, however, closed down its Mission in India in 1990 due to economic reasons, but reopened it in 2004. During the first-ever Summit Meeting between our PM and leaders of the 14 CARICOM countries on the sidelines of the 7th UNGA in New York on September 25, 2019, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met with Dr. Karen Cummings, Guyanese Foreign Minister. On September 23, 2019, then EAM also met with the Guyanese Foreign Minister.


Earlier In September 2015, PM met President David Granger at New York on the sidelines of the UNGA. In September 2016, Guyanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl B. Greenidge and MOS Mr. M.J. Akbar met on the sidelines of UNGA. PM Moses Nagamootoo made a private visit to India from October 12-15, 2018 to inaugurate the World Tamil Economic Conference in Puducherry. Earlier also, PM Nagamootoo made private visits to India in October and November, 2016 on the invitation from private parties and had a luncheon meeting with MOS General (Retd.) V.K. Singh on October 6, 2016. Actg. Chancellor of the Judiciary made a private visit to India to attend the 19th International Conferences of Chief Justices of the World in Lucknow from November 14-20, 2018. Earlier in November 2017, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan attended the same Conference.
President Donald Ramotar visited India in January 2015. Prior to that, the last state visits have been that of President Bharrat Jagdeo to India in August in 2003 and again in 2004 to be Chief Guest at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and our Vice President Shri Bhairon Singh Sekhawat’s visit to Guyana in 2006. Going further back - Prime Minister Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, Q.C. (1971); President Arthur Chung (1975); President Dr. Cheddi Jagan (1993) visited India and Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi (1968) and Vice President Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma (1988) undertook official visits to Guyana.
Then President David Granger attended the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance in March 2018 at New Delhi and had bilateral meetings with Hon’ble PM, Minister of State for Power and New &Renewable Energy and Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. A month earlier in January 2018, Second Vice President and Foreign Minister Carl B. Greenidge, accompanied by Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman, visited India and had bilateral meetings with External Affairs Minister, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, MoS for Power and New &Renewable Energy. Minister within Ministry of Public Infrastructure Ms.Annette Ferguson visited India to attend the First General Assembly of the ISA and the 2nd Renewable Energy Global Investors’ Meet &Expo (2nd RE-INVEST) in New Delhi from October 2-5, 2018. From India, Dr. Satya Pal Singh, MoS for Human Resources Development, Water Resources, River Development &Ganga Rejuvenation visited Guyana from 8-11 May, 2018 as a part of Special Outreach programme and met President, PM, Foreign Minister, Natural Resources Minister and Leader of Opposition. 
The formal structure of relationship comprises a bilateral joint commission at the ministerial level, the fourth session of which was held in Georgetown in May 2008, periodic consultations between the foreign offices, the third round of which was held in Georgetown in July 2011, cultural exchange programme and a joint business council between the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce &Industry (FICC) and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce &Industry (GCCI).

 
The cooperation between the two countries in sharing developmental experience is mainly routed through Indian Technical &Economic Cooperation (ITEC) under which fiftyscholarships are granted every year in various courses. Besides, some experts are also deputed to Guyana from time to time on request in specified areas of activity. Several other scholarships are also available to Guyanese to pursue Under-graduate, Post-Graduate, Masters, Medical and other course under ICCR’s various scholarship schemes. So far more than 600 scholars from India have undertaken training under ITEC. 

India has offered credit facilities to Guyana for use in mutually accepted designated fields, agriculture and information technology, being two of these. Indian companies have also expressed interest in bio fuel, energy, minerals and pharmaceuticals. Total trade turn over remains low, though the trend is positive and encouraging.  The Government of India has helped Government of Guyana in completing the following projects such as National Cricket Stadium (USD 25 million), supply and installation of 50 solar traffic lights USD 2.1 million) and drainage pumps (USD 2.9 million) and setting up of a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology (CEIT) (USD 2 million). Some projects are are under completion such as oceangoing vessel/passenger ferry, construction fo 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.

Love for cricket is another area that binds the two countries intimately. With the launching of Indian Premier League, a number of Guyanese players have been contracted to play in India.



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