News Column

Guyana, Suriname seeks stronger BRICS ties; presidents to attend special meeting

July 11, 2014

By Ray Chickrie, Caribbean News Now, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

July 11--GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- Guyana and Suriname are keen to cultivate stronger ties with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) countries, especially that the group is set to launch the New Development Bank (NDB) as an alternative to the World Bank and the IMF. President Desi Bouterse of Suriname and Guyana's President Donald Ramotar will attend a special meeting of BRICS and South American leaders in Brazil on July 16 at the invitation of host President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil.

The Guyanese president told the Guyana Times on Thursday that "it is important for Guyana to be there as part of the UNASUR and to broaden relations", noting that the BRICS Bank to be launched will be of pivotal importance to Guyana, since it will be another developmental alternative to the US/Europe-dominated World Bank and IMF.

He said, "The bank will be very important because it will be an alternate resource."

For too long, developing countries, who have borrowed heavily from the World Bank and IMF, have complained that such financial assistance often comes at a high cost -- needless meddling in their sovereign affairs by Western powers.

The Guyana Times, which reflects the view of the government there, said, "Of interest to Guyana and the other poorer countries invited to the BRICS summit is that, in this summit, BRICS will emphasise social inclusion and sustainable development which is the theme of the meeting: "Inclusive growth: sustainable solutions."

President pro tempore of the Union of South American Countries (UNASUR), Desi Bouterse of Suriname, is keen to forge stronger ties with BRICS countries, especially since his government has accused foreign governments of meddling in Suriname's internal affairs. Suriname was once a colonial possession of the Netherlands.

Bouterse is keen to expand South-South cooperation and has placed great importance to ties with BRICS countries. The Surinamese leader wants to see the development and production of its "natural resources to create the means for a more balanced economy and a stronger base" for his people.

Suriname has expanded its international economic and political relations with diverse partners such as MEROSUR, UNASUR, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the Islamic Development Bank more recently.

According to the Guyana Times, "Also of interest to Guyana are plans which the other South American nations are jointly exploring -- the creation of a communications system to curtail US spying in the region. Part of the final communique could call for an end to mass surveillance, like that carried out by the US's NSA."


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Source: Caribbean News Now (Grand Cayman)

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