President David Granger on Wednesday accredited a new non-resident High Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Australia to Guyana.
High Commissioner John Pilbeam handed over his Letters of Credence to President Granger in the presence of Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge and Foreign Affairs Ministry Director General Audrey Waddell at the Ministry of the Presidency.
Australian High Commissioner John Pilbeam presenting his Letters of Credence to President David Granger in the presence of Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge and Foreign Affairs Ministry Director General Audrey Waddell
After accepting the documents, the Head of State said that the Commonwealth, of which Australia was a founding member, has been an important voice in the global community, championing democracy, human rights issues and the plight of small States. The President noted that Guyana was looking forward to having concerns of Small States addressed since Australia was known to use its experience and standing within the Commonwealth to call attention to the concerns of these States.
“Guyana looks forward to continuing to work with Australia to finding solution to the problems of small States and particularly, to the security concerns of small States,” Granger stated. He also extended gratitude to Australia for the support and development assistance received over the years, through scholarships, direct aid programmes and through Caricom initiatives.
The Head of State added that with the appointment of a new Australian High Commissioner, Guyana envisaged increased collaboration between the two countries at the multilateral level.
“We look forward also to your appointment becoming a catalyst to strengthen bilateral relations and we welcome the interest expressed by Australian companies to invest in Guyana…We assure you of our cooperation as you execute your duties,” President Granger said.
Meanwhile, High Commissioner Pilbeam pointed out that with the establishment of economic partnerships, several Australian companies would be taking advantage of this to invest in Guyana. He referred to Australian firm Troy Resources which has been operating in the mining sector for some time now.
“As exploration for oil and gas develops in Guyana’s waters, I’m sure you will see world-class engineers and consultancy firms making an appearance,” the High Commissioner stated.
The Australian diplomat also underscored that over the years Guyana has benefited significantly from its relations with Australia in the areas of capacity building, scholarships and joint-aid programmes.
However, he remarked that the backdrop of relations between the two countries was premised on the area of sports, particularly cricket. Pilbeam mentioned the pending visit of the Australian cricket team in June, noting that he would be working with the Government of Guyana to make arrangements for this event which would see a large number of Australians flying in.
“Sports, particularly cricket, is the backdrop of our relationship. There aren’t many Australians who haven’t heard of Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd, Lance Gibbs, Alvin Kallicharran, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramesh Sarwan,” he remarked.
High Commissioner Pilbeam, who is based in Trinidad and Tobago, is the 15th Australian diplomat to be accredited in Guyana since diplomatic ties were established in 1974.