Guyana’s former president Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo visited Toronto touting a strong, stable and secure Guyana.
“Today, Guyana is the most vibrant economy in the region, experiencing nine years of continuous growth,” he said on Friday at Guyana’s Toronto consular office.
Jagdeo boasted that no other country in the Caribbean has that record, noting their target is raising the standard of living for all Guyanese.
An economist by training and former finance minister, Jagdeo said, “We have taken a macro-economic situation that was considered a basketcase and today we have probably the most viable macro framework.
“When we assumed office, (the first democratic, free government after 28 years of rigged elections and dictatorship) 94% of revenue went to service external debts. Today it’s down to four per cent, the best figure in the entire region.”
A recipient of the Champion of the Earth Award from the UN Environment Program, Jagdeo told the Diaspora “We are preserving 99.5% of our forests.”
Jagdeo said that with climate change, Guyana should “follow the three R policy – reduce, reuse and recycle to save the environment; the willingness to conserve the environment brings the harmony between people and their place of living and a natural environment is required to sustain the life of all beings.”
President Donald Ramotar has given a commitment that local forests will remain safe from risky harvesting practices and other ills which face other countries with similar forests.
Guyana donated 360,000 hectares of prime virgin state forest lands under the Iwokrama Initiative to conserve as a research and development centre while testing models of sustainable forest utilization.
Jagdeo, who surprised the political opposition in Guyana when his name was included in the PPP/C slate, said the upcoming election is crucial for the future.
“We are going to campaign on our record of achievements which has been substantial – transformation in education and health; student success rates among the top in the Caribbean and more Guyanese owning assets and growth in the middle class in Guyana.”
He said housing growth is the largest in the region with thousands of houses being built and a government program to allocate cheap mortgages, including giving low-income Guyanese lands at preferential rates, “has paid huge dividends in people fulfilling their dreams.”
Guyana’s Marriott Hotel in the capital Georgetown was to open today (Thursday), creating more than 200 jobs, he said.