Jaishankar joins Guyana’s President Ali at commissioning of India-made ferry


Georgetown: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar joined President of Guyana Irfaan Ali at the commissioning of an India-made ferry which would enhance connectivity and provide mobility and economic opportunities in the country’s distant hinterlands.

The ferry is truly a testimony of the close friendship between our two countries, Jaishankar said at the launch ceremony.

“MV Ma Lisha means friendship. The ferry made by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers in Kolkata is its practical expression. This ferry would significantly enhance connectivity within Guyana. It will provide mobility and economic opportunities for distant hinterlands,” Jaishankar tweeted.

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The vessel serves the dual purpose of being a passenger and a cargo ferry in Guyana. It can carry almost 300 passengers, 14 cars, two trucks, 14 containers and other assorted cargo.

He said it was important to look at the ferry and consider the larger context, which is that of the long-standing development partnership between India and Guyana.

“Our cooperation is human-centric, it reflects the priorities of the people and the Government of Guyana. Over the years our two countries have collaborated in several areas of interest, which directly impact the lives of the people,” Jaishankar said.

Some of the notable projects in Guyana include a cricket stadium in Georgetown, a Centre for Excellence in IT, modernisation of sugar plants and installation of solar traffic lights, he said.

“I want to underline today, that we remain committed to continuing to support Guyana’s developmental goals and to work with this country, on projects of its interest and priorities,” the minister said.

Cooperation in human resource development has also been an important feature of the bilateral ties. So far, 640 Guyanese nationals have benefited from India’s Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programmes, which are designed to enhance skills and capacity building, he said.

“It would be India’s privilege to partner Guyana on our premier training institutions, universities and learning institutions. We would also be happy to work with Guyana to build a modern ecosystem of institutes for training and capacity building, to meet its growing requirements,” he said.

Jaishankar noted that the visits of both President Ali and Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo in quick succession to India have infused new energy in the bilateral relationship.

He also said that the arrival of the ferry and his own visit are milestones in ties and an indication that the two countries were moving to the next phase of their bilateral cooperation.

Jaishankar is on a nine-day trip to Guyana, Panama, Colombia and the Dominican Republic, his first visit as the external affairs minister to these Latin American countries and the Caribbean

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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