President Dr Irfaan Ali hailed the strengthened cooperation between Guyana and Suriname as a ”milestone” in bilateral relations, which has economic and human resources potential that would positively impact the Guiana Shield.

The Head of State made these remarks during his address at a dinner reception last evening hosted by H.E Candrikapersad Santokhi and First Lady Mellisa Santokhi-Seenacherry to usher in today’s Republic of Suriname’s 45th Independence Anniversary.

”The time has come for us to translate our potential into action, by outlining a clear vision, a clear path that is time-bound so that all of our people can understand the common destination, the common path that we would like our development to take.”

The President pointed to the importance of investment, efficient business structure, greater connectivity, and bridging the existing gaps towards social cohesion. He said that these components would also contribute to enhanced private sector participation.

”Today, both of our countries present exciting opportunities for the private sector. We have the duty as leaders, as policymakers to create an enabling environment. So that the private sector can benefit from the possibilities, it is in this spirit that we celebrate today. But as my brother from Brazil said, the fundamentals for society are democracy, security, and the rule of law. And we must ensure at all times that these principles remain the foundation upon which we build our societies and communities. ”

President Ali noted that the future requires a private sector that is vibrant and outward-looking. He said that it requires a private sector that can incorporate opportunities beyond its national borders and boundaries.

”It gives me great honour and privilege to convey congratulations on behalf of the people of Guyana to the people of Suriname as you celebrate your 45th Anniversary. We wish you nothing but continued success, we wish you prosperity, and we wish that the citizens of Suriname would continue to enjoy good health and peace.”

In his remarks, President Santhoki reflected on his hopes and aspirations as a young man on the eve of independence. He noted that despite the contentious period the country endured, political leaders found a way to enter a new harmonious phase.

”It gives me great pleasure to thank each of you for honouring the people of Suriname at this highest level. As we face the challenges of the future, I wish to thank you for your support in ensuring that we succeed in shaping Suriname into a prosperous country, a safe and democratic place that abides by the rules of law and honours its international obligations. Your support in moving Suriname forward is highly appreciated, and we are grateful for that.”

President Santhoki recognised the ties between the countries as ”historically old”. He expressed his confidence that the shared values and interests will continue to be a force of unity and that the alliances forged will endure.

”We are bound by history and by the ties between our people. Let us cherish these bonds and unpack their possibilities…As we celebrate our alliances for decades to come, I wish to invite you to raise your glasses to the continued friendship between our countries, of our peoples, and the prosperity and happiness of all.”

President Ali and a delegation of high-level Government officials have also engaged in a series of bilateral discussions to strengthen cooperation, develop greater synergies, and advance the strategic dialogue on mutually beneficial projects.


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