Guyana, Suriname discuss need for smoother air travel, more reliable ferry service

Guyana and Suriname have discussed the need for smoother air travel and a more reliable ferry service, President Dr Irfaan Ali announced today during a joint press conference hosted by the Heads-of-State of both countries.

Suriname’s President, Chandrikapersad Santokhi and a high-level delegation arrived in Guyana on Tuesday for a four-day State visit. Since their arrival, officials from both countries have been engaged in discussions on improving relations and strengthening collaborating in a number of sectors.

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During today’s press conference, Guyana’s President revealed that infrastructure was a major focus during the discussions, and coming out of these talks, it was agreed that there needs to be improved access between the two countries.

“There has been agreement on number of issues raised by the private sector in removing hurdles and impediments to allow for smoother air travel and greater reliability of the ferry service between Guyana and Suriname,” President Ali said.

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He also noted that Guyana and Suriname furthered talks on the establishment of a bridge linking the two countries via the Corentyne River.

President Ali said it was agreed that consolidated action is needed to choose from shortlisted companies for this project. He noted too that the two countries decided that the approach for this initiative will be a Design, Build, Finance, Own, and Operate model.

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“Our sides also agreed that a working group would be established to include the Finance Ministers to determine the investment and concessions package that would accompany this Expression of Interest in securing the financing, building, operating and ownership of the bridge,” President Ali said.

In November 2020, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Guyana and Suriname to facilitate the joint bridging of the Corentyne River.

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Both Presidents had underscored the critical role that a bridge across the Corentyne River could play in advancing cooperation and joint activities and ventures in all the areas mentioned.

It was reported last month that 38 bids were received and jointly reviewed by the two countries and eight bidders were eventually shortlisted.

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Suriname news agency Waterkant had reported these bidders as: China Road and Bridge Corporation (China), EGIS (France), Exp Services Inc., Pedelta, Arcadis, CEMCO (Canada, Spain, Netherlands, Guyana), FIGG / Sunecon / SRKN’gineering & Associates/E&A Consultans / P-ALL Consultants/ Environmental Management Consultant (United States of America), Politecnica and Rina JV / ILACO / SRKN’gineering & Associates (Italy, Suriname, Guyana), SYSTRA International Bridge Technologies Inc. / AP&G Consultancy Suriname NV / Delta Marine Consultants / Deltares (Dubai, Suriname, Netherlands),TYPSA/ Leonard, Andra und Partner GmbH/ FIRM (Spain, Germany, Suriname) and WSP Caribbean Ltd. (Trinidad).

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