At a ceremonial signing ceremony today in Jeddah, Saudia Aradia, Minister of Finance, Mr. Winston Jordan, today signed a Loan Agreement with the Islamic Development Bank [IsDB]. Inking the agreement, according Jordan, has essentially served to cement the blossoming relationship with the ISDB and the proactive use of the indicative resource envelope for Guyana.
The United Nations 2030 Agenda espouses aspirations for human dignity.
Undoubtedly, the objective is ‘to leave no one behind’. This laudable objective is in keeping with principles of the Bank, said Jordan who added, “It is also the corner stone of my government’s approach to development.”
“This, is perhaps, why we have been able to establish such a close working relationship, in such a short period,” the Finance Minister considered.
This US$20 million loan will support Guyana’s Power Utility Upgrade Programme which is in fact a component of the power Company’s Development and Expansion Programme for 2014 to 2021. It incorporates necessary reforms and upgrades to reduce losses, and improve the quality and reliability of electricity supply and will, at the same time help to transform Guyana’s infrastructural landscape, boost the manufacturing sector and improve the quality of life of citizens.
And it could not have come at a more opportune time, especially since, Guyana is on the cusp of an historic transformation with the recent discovery of over 4B barrels of oil, Jordan noted. Those discoveries, he recalled, began in 2015 and, to date, have numbered nine.
“The International Monetary Fund has deemed our medium-term economic prospects as “very favorable” and predicts that our GDP will grow by 29.1 percent in 2020 – our first year of production. At the same time, the IMF has commended us on our “prudence and restraint towards borrowing in anticipation of future oil revenues”. As such, our public debt stood at a highly sustainable 52.2 percent of GDP at the end-2017,” Minister Jordan shared.
As such he added, “We look forward to working with the IsDB on projects in several sectors, including agriculture. Guyana is a major producer of rice in South America, exporting some US$200 million worth in 2017. In this regard, I wish to express gratitude to the Bank for the Reverse-Linkage Project, which will assist in updating Guyana’s expertise and technology in rice production as well as introduce innovative rice varieties in Guyana. We are also thankful for the Grant for the Modernisation and Upgrade of the Palms Geriatric Facility. This support will result in better care for the elderly.”
Over the next few days, the Minister and his team will be involved in activities that will bring a greater and deeper appreciation for the principles and practices of Islamic banking.