Canada - Guyana Relations
The Canadian diplomatic presence in Guyana started with the opening of the Commission of Canada in Georgetown, the capital, in March 1964. In May 1966, Guyana gained independence and full diplomatic relations were established.
In Guyana, Canada is represented by the High Commission of Canada in Georgetown. Since 2003, the High Commissioner is also Canada’s Plenipotentiary Representative to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which is headquartered in the greater Georgetown area.
Guyana is represented in Canada by the High Commission of Guyana in Ottawa. Guyana also has a Consulate in Toronto.
The good bilateral relations between Canada and Guyana result from political ties through the Commonwealth, commercial links, development assistance and immigration. Bilateral treaties between Canada and Guyana include an Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (1987) and an Air Services Agreement (2005).
Canada engages in Guyana by working with partners to advance Canada’s Strategy Engagement in the Americas with three main goals.
Goal 1: To increase Canadian and hemispheric economic opportunity by strengthening trade investments; expanding trade networks; advancing sustainable economic growth and sharing Canadian expertise toward supporting responsible; and sustainable natural resource management.
Goal 2: To address insecurity and to advance freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law through capacity building by supporting efforts to increase security in the Caribbean; providing resources and training toward combatting transnational organised crime; and sharing Canadian experience to strengthen institutions required for stability and growth.
Goal 3: To build a stable foundation for Canada’s engagement and increased influence in the hemisphere through the promotion of accountability, transparency and effectiveness within the Organization of American States and the broader inter-American system and broadening people-to-people ties through ministerial outreach, education, sport and tourism; and Increasing two-way business and student mobility.
Canada and Guyana also share extensive people-to-people ties: the Guyanese diaspora in Canada is estimated to be around 200,000. Guyana benefits from bilateral funding through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives; and the Canada’s Caribbean Regional (Development) Program, which also supports Caribbean collaboration and integration efforts.
Canada is committed to improving security in a manner that safeguards freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Canada’s security programming in the Caribbean is strategically regional to ensure all countries can collectively combat transnational crime and to prevent against the displacement of criminal activity from one country to others nearby.
Canada’s contributes to regional security activities throughout the Caribbean through its Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) which contributes to several international organizations, including the Organization of American States (OAS) and UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), on programmes to build regional capacities to combat transnational organized crime. The ACCBP has contributed approximately $20 million from 2009-2013 to Caribbean security programming, particularly on police professionalization and justice reform, combating illicit drugs, anti-corruption projects and anti-money laundering efforts.
Bilateral security cooperation between Canada and Guyana has been increasing in recent years with encouraging results. These include cooperation in the areas of fraudulent document detection, interdicting the transport of contraband and illicit drugs from airports and strengthening the justice system.
Canada has also provided other bilateral capacity building support to Guyana through, the Post Initiative Fund. Through partnership with the Embassy of the United States, Canada supported the visit of a delegation from the Canadian NGO the Justice Education Society down from Vancouver to Guyana, for a three day seminar with key stakeholders in law enforcement and the justice sector with the aim of strengthening the justice system in Guyana.
In November 2014, through the first ACCBP bilateral programing for Guyana, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) provided a two week training course in best practice investigative techniques to officers from the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) by five instructors drawn from a pool of RCMP members and subject matter experts. The course involved classroom and practical training, focusing on communication and observation skills with the use of two way radios and digital cameras. This training was reinforced with the provision of 12 radios and 6 video cameras to the Ministry of Home Affairs for use by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) through funding by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI). The radios and cameras will support the enhancement of criminal investigations by strengthening the capacity of law enforcement to effectively report on criminal activities.
Through the 2013-2014 CFLI, Canada provided 200 fraudulent document detection kits to the Ministry of Home Affairs for use by law enforcement, including the GPF, CANU, Immigration Services, the GRO and the GPF Fraud Unit, in the identification of false documents, including passports and visas. This was coupled with training provided by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) liaison officers in February 2014.
The RCMP also supported a five day Jetway Training Course to officers from CANU and the GPF on interdicting the transport of contraband and illicit drugs from airports as well as detecting other crimes being committed or about to be committed at the airports both in the classroom and at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), in March 2014.
Guyana is also a beneficiary of Exercise TRADEWINDS. Exercise Tradewinds is a multinational maritime interdiction, ground security and interagency exercise which focuses on countering transnational organized crime and practicing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) in order to promote regional security cooperation. The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) support and contribute to Exercise Tradewinds with equipment and personnel.
Discussions are underway between Canada and CARICOM, which Guyana is a member of, aimed at achieving a mutually beneficial trade agreement that provides significant economic benefits and takes into account the region's capacity constraints and vulnerabilities.
Canadian exports to Guyana in 2014: CAD $22.24 million (prepared foodstuff; chemicals or allied industries; Paper products and Pulp; Mining machinery; vehicles; paper and paperboard, vegetables and vegetable products; wood and woodworks).
Canadian imports from Guyana in 2013: CAD $320.9 million (base metals; precious stones and precious metals, (mostly gold), bauxite, beverages, and fish and seafood).
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): Canada was the largest source of FDI to Guyana in 2013.
Canada-Guyana business relations encompass a plethora of trade initiatives which include but are not limited to Agriculture; Oil & Gas; Mining, Promoting Canadian expertise at world class mining events, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
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