Visionary domestic policies when matched with strategic external relations will transform Guyana. New geopolitical alliances and our external relations with traditional partners must be equally visionary in the promotion of Guyana’s interests. They should leverage international best practices and access appropriate resources to achieve our goals as a small and highly open economy, seeking to pay our own way in the world, showcase the skills, talents, innovative capacity of our citizens and engage the world.
Guyanese must be fully equipped with the skills, boldness and confidence to take risks, seize all available opportunities and compete in the dynamic, international economy of the 21st century.
The LJP would do so through an enhanced professionalised, diplomatic and trade representation, able to defend our national and regional interests in all traditional and emerging centres of power and influence. Posting to our embassies and consulates would not be as a mere reward for supporters of the party in government, but would be the front line of projecting the interests of Guyana internationally.
Our key pursuit must be our economic and commercial interests and these must be understood by our senior diplomats and the professional Foreign Service officers. The most important initiatives and objectives for our embassies and consulates will be: addressing the interests of Guyana in respect of trade and investment policies of other countries which are likely to adversely impact our interests; reaching and maintaining strong contacts with the diaspora, and promoting projects of mutual benefit to the diaspora communities; and projecting our specific interests in Oil & Gas and Mining services and supporting the efforts of the local private sector and state enterprises in marketing their products and services overseas.
The LJP would:
» Restructure the Foreign Service to reflect a focus on an issues-based paradigm with an emphasis on diplomacy pertinent to: inclusive development; economy; trade and investment promotion; energy; security and terrorism; environment, in particular climate change; education and health; digitization; sports and culture; and human rights.
» Establish a Diplomatic Academy to equip our diplomats, trade representatives and public officials to excel at representing Guyana at the national, regional and international levels and repatriating the benefits to Guyana.
» Partner with leading educational players to develop and deliver relevant degree and certificate courses to prepare persons for positions in the international business sector.
» Rationalise our foreign policy to position our nation for the next 10 years by matching domestic goals with international best practices and strengthening relationships with bilateral, regional, multilateral organisations and International Financial Institutions.
» Reaffirm our relationships with traditional partners and forge new partnerships with Latin America, Africa, and BRICS countries – plus BRI initiative; for trade, business, and development.
» Increase and intensify diplomatic relations, cultural exchanges, trade and economic links with Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, Asia – having some of the fastest growing economies in the world; and undertaking comprehensive assessments to determine the potential to attract business from these regions.
» Re-engage the private sector in order to determine what might be necessary to better position Guyana to benefit from the market access provisions in the EPA with Europe and any other trade agreements to which Guyana is a party.
» Take full advantage of preferential trade arrangements with our principal trading partners, such as Canada, US, UK and the EU.
» Advance Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) initiative; the agenda of small and vulnerable economies and Small Island Developing States, including regional and international initiatives and discussions on mitigating the impacts of climate change, sea level rise and resilience.
» Work with CARICOM to complete the built-in agenda of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, so as to enable Guyanese to fully benefit from the opportunities to move capital and to have certainty as to the scope of rights to be enjoyed by persons moving within the region.
» Help to position our citizens, companies and entrepreneurs in the global society and new cyber marketplace in recognition that our small population size is not a barrier to the success of our citizens and the full development of Guyana.
» Collaborate with regional neighbours and institutions on matters of security, the movement of illegal drugs and illegal firearms.
» Harmonise policies and protocols that will allow Caribbean island states to realise economies of scope and scale, increase critical mass and attract investment.
» Make space for Guyanese Diaspora to feel welcome, facilitate their contribution to local society and economy, and to advance our interests abroad through the utilisation of their networks, skills and resources by deepening their involvement in social and economic development opportunities in Guyana whether or not they choose formally to relocate home.
» Leverage the power of the Guyanese Diaspora in diplomacy, investment and trade.
» Create and mobilise a network of Guyanese in the Diaspora who have served or are serving in International and Regional Organisations or who have excelled in their respective fields.
» Utilise increased services through our overseas consulates, to ensure Guyanese living in the Diaspora, are mobilised to serve as an effective lobby for the promotion and protection of Guyana’s interests in their countries of residence’ and create a welcoming environment in order to encourage more Guyanese to return home and contribute to Guyana’s development.
» Earnestly pursue the democratisation and radical transformation of multilateral bodies and global financial watch-dogs such as the IMF, and World Bank so that they are reflective of the countries of the world, as opposed to working for the interest of the elite bankers at the cost of poor countries of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean; and zealously build relations with countries and economies that are willing to invest in real and genuine industrial development and skills transfer to Guyana and the Caribbean economies.