US concerned about China's expansion in Caribbean
Sarah-Ann Lynch

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Outgoing United States Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch says the Biden Administration is concerned about what she says is China's expanding financial footprint in Guyana and the wider Caribbean.

"We've tripled the bilateral trade over the last few years so I think we are here, we are strong, and we will remain here," she told reporters at a news briefing as her tour of duty here winds down.

According to Lynch, China's financial presence in Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean is expanding but the US Embassy is aggressively pushing guarantees of value for money from American companies.

"Clearly, the China footprint is growing in Guyana as well as the broader Caribbean," she said.

She stated that in addition to the United States, other countries have been exploring investment opportunities in agriculture, information technology, tourism, and manufacturing. But she advised Guyanese companies to take advantage of business opportunities with American companies because of inherent advantages.

"US companies bring some unique things to any country in which they invest, and that's quality; excellence; on-time, on-budget projects; and high standards of safety. So I think all those things are important for Guyanese local companies to think about when they're considering which US companies they want to partner with — and it's important for the Guyanese people to know that [with] US companies [this is] what they bring to the table," she said.

Over the years Chinese companies have been contracted to build the new Demerara Harbour Bridge, roads, the building that houses Marriott Hotel, electricity substations, Arthur Chung Conference Centre, and to upgrade Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri.

During last month's visit to China, President Irfaan Ali committed to concluding the Joint Action Plan on Promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative with Beijing.

Latin research professor at US Army War College, R Evan Ellis earlier this month said the US should not be worried about Guyana's close relations with China.

"The US has a strategic interest in working respectfully, yet attentively, with Guyana as its newfound oil wealth continues to transform it, to preserve the vitality of Guyana's friendship with the US — even as it engages with the PRC and others as well," he said.

Lynch, who would be taking up an assignment at the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Florida, would be succeeded by Nicole Theriot.

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