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Oil-Rich Guyana Seeks India’s Support to Develop Economy

© AFP 2023 PATRICK FORTPicture of the Stabroek Market in Georgetown, Guyana, taken on September 23, 2022.
Picture of the Stabroek Market in Georgetown, Guyana, taken on September 23, 2022. - Sputnik India, 1920, 10.01.2023
Around 40% of Guyana's population lives below the poverty line.
Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali is seeking Indian investments in various sectors of the economy, as the South American nation looks to transition to a developed economy after the discovery of massive oil wells.
Ali, who has an Indian background, was the chief guest at the 17th Pravasiya Bhartiya Divas in the central Indian city of Indore. The event takes place annually to commemorate the achievements of the Indian diaspora across the world.
He met India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and called upon Indian President Droupadi Murmu on Tuesday. The Indian Foreign Ministry said that energy cooperation, infrastructure development, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, technology and innovation and defense cooperation were the key themes of discussions during the meetings.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday evening, Saurabh Kumar, secretary (east) at the Indian Foreign Ministry, said that Ali has sought the participation of Indian state-backed and private companies in areas such as infrastructure, IT, renewable energy and food processing in Guyana.

“This was the main message delivered by the president of Guyana,” Kumar said. He added that Ali was accompanied by a 25-member business delegation, the biggest that Guyana has ever sent to India.
The Indian diplomat noted that Guyana’s oil output was expected to rise from the current level of 340,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.64 million bpd by the end of the decade.

“In the future, Guyana would be a major production centre for hydrocarbons,” he explained.

India Looking to Diversify Oil Supplies

The first discovery of oil in Guyana was in 2015, but production started only in 2019. However, the country is projected to overtake Brazil and the US as the biggest producer of crude in the Americas.
Delhi imported its first crude shipment from Guyana in July 2021 and has since been looking to ramp up its energy partnership with the South American nation in a bid to diversify its crude imports away from the Middle East, which has traditionally remained its biggest energy supplier.
Last year, India significantly scaled up its imports of Russian crude amid surging energy prices caused by western governments’ efforts to phase out Russian commodities from global supply chains in the wake of the special military operation in Ukraine.
Indian Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said earlier in the day that diversification of energy sources is a key plank of New Delhi’s energy security strategy. He said that India is expected to account for 25 percent of the global energy demand by 2040.
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