Saudi Development fund supporting Guyana’s infrastructure boom

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The Guyana government said it is set to receive significant financial support from the Saudi Fund for Development, with the signing of two major loan agreements totaling US$150 million. President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali hosted a breakfast meeting at State House on June 4 with the visiting Saudi Fund for Development’s Chief Executive Officer, Sultan A. Al-Marshad, and his team to discuss the infrastructure projects and finalise the agreements.

The two projects that will benefit from this funding are the Infrastructure Development Works for the Housing Sector Project and the Construction of the Wismar Bridge Project. These agreements, scheduled to be signed on June 5, follow a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on May 12 between Guyana’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh and the Saudi Development fund CEO during the Islamic Development Bank Group’s Annual Meetings in Saudi Arabia. The MOU outlined the Saudi Fund’s participation in financing these development projects.

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Guyana’s Department of Public Information (DPI) stated that the government has been actively pursuing its agenda to transform the country’s infrastructure and transport systems. IT said notable projects in progress include the new US$261 million High Span Bridge across the Demerara River, the US$190 million Linden to Mabura Road, and a bridge across the Corentyne River. It said too that an allocation of GY$136.1 billion was earmarked for enhancing roads and bridges across the country.

Government has also been pursuing its goal of providing 10,000 house lots to Guyanese nationals. DPI said government is well on its way to achieving its target of 50,000 house lots during its five-year term, having delivered over 20,000 in the first two years in office. The Budget 2023 allocated GY$54.5 billion for housing development in both new and existing areas.

The Saudi Fund for Development finances projects in developing countries by providing loans, technical aids, and institutional support. The Saudi team is on a three-day visit, has been given a tour of the project sites and received presentations from senior representatives of the Ministry of Finance and respective sector Ministries at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre since arriving on June 3.

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Guyana said it is grateful for the support from the Saudi Fund for Development and believes that these loan agreements will significantly boost the country’s infrastructure development, housing initiatives, and overall economy.

Guyana has been amping up cooperation with Gulf States: Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. As countries that have utilised their oil riches to develop their people, Guyana plans to learn a lot from the Gulf states.

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