Doha and Georgetown established diplomatic relations in 1996.
Qatar provided Guyana with a $350 million loan to extend the Schoonord to Crane four-lane highway in the South American country, President Mohamed Irfaan Ali said.
“I just came back from Qatar and we have just secured $350 million to continue the road to Parika and complete the new four-lane road all the way on the West Coast,” he said, as quoted in a statement published by the High Commission of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana in South Africa on Tuesday.
The loan comes a year after Guyana signed $11.8 billion worth of contracts for the 4.1 kilometre highway to rehabilitate and upgrade 2.4 kilometres of road.
Last month, Ali said the project, scheduled to be completed in June 2024, will instead be ready by the end of the year.
“Hopefully, by the third quarter of this year we will be opening the new bypass highway from Schoonord to Crane,” Ali said as quoted by the statement.
The Guyanese leader was in Qatar on 16 May, during which he inaugurated Guyana’s embassy in Qatar. He said the opening of the mission would help see both countries “embark on a journey of an enhanced bilateral relationship”.
“We both promote peace, stability and sustainability […] I want to thank all of our friends who are here to celebrate this momentous occasion,” Guyanese President Mohamed Irfaan Ali told diplomats and the press at the inauguration in Doha.
Qatar and Guyana established diplomatic relations in 1996, with Georgetown seeking to strengthen bilateral cooperation in numerous fields, including climate change and energy.
President Ali noted that he aims to diversify Guyana’s economy and “make it one of the most competitive economies globally.”
During his visit to Doha, President Ali stressed the importance of developing bilateral trade in various sectors, including oil, gas and food security, Qatar’s state news agency (QNA) reported at the time.
During a meeting with the Qatar Chamber (QC) First Vice-Chairman, Mohamed bin Twar Al Kuwari, said that the two countries have the potential to expand cooperation in the private sector of the Gulf state and South American country.
In 2020, the two countries inked an Air Services Agreement on the sidelines of the General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation in Montreal. The agreement promoted the movement of goods and people of both countries.
Guyana has a population of less than one million who are descendants of the Americas, Europe, Portugal, Africa, India, and China. Georgetown gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1966.
In 2020, Exxon Mobil said Guyana has the world’s largest “high quality oil reserve” and at least 33 billion undiscovered barrels. The country is also rich in gold, diamonds and stones, which earned the country the infamous label of “The Golden City of El Dorado.”