– said boosting education is among the priorities

The Minister for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh has given assurances that the Peoples / Civic Progressive Party Government (PPP / C) intends to invest heavily in the social sector and human capital over the next few years.

Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh

Dr Singh made these pronouncements during the recent World Bank Ministerial conclave, where he represented Guyana among other countries’ Finance Ministers, senior Bank executives and World Bank Group President David Malpass.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Finance, the Minister used the opportunity to explain that despite the other competing areas for Guyana resources, investment in human capital and the social sector will be a priority for the Government. In fact, he noted that they are already in the process of this investment.
“For example, in education, we invest heavily in early childhood education, general primary and secondary education, improving access to tertiary education and quality, strengthening technical and vocational education, improving learning outcomes at all levels, and ensuring lifelong learning yes – supported by the use of information and communications technology based on lessons learned during COVID-19 – all with the aim of improving productivity and productivity as well as the well-being of individuals and households. ”

“On many of these initiatives we are collaborating with the Bank, and we expect the education sector to dominate our portfolio of projects with the Bank in the next programming round … this will be in line with our emphasis on the development of human capital as an input to, and outcome of sustainable economic growth, ”Dr Singh informed the grouping.
In his address, the Minister highlighted Guyana’s economic prospects as well as the country’s weaknesses and development challenges. He also stressed that Guyana is rich in natural resources, including oil, minerals, and forests that cover 85 percent of the country’s territory, making its economic outlook very promising right now despite COVID-19 and political issues domestic which caused a sharp contraction in non-oil GDP in 2020.

Fastest growth
He reminded that even with the many challenges, Guyana is the fastest growing economy in the world as a result of oil production, and will remain among the fastest growing economies in the next few years.

“But we also face extreme vulnerabilities to climate change, as well as significant development challenges. We are well aware of the scale of these challenges. They include avoiding the resource curse, promoting a strong and competitive non-oil economy, addressing our infrastructure gap, and improving human development outcomes, ”added Dr Singh.
On the issue of environmental sustainability, Minister Singh highlighted the role of the original Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) which was a product of the previous PPP Ministry, as well as the soon to be expanded LCDS.
He said Guyana’s “commitment to low carbon or green growth is long-standing. In 2008, we published what we believe was the first low carbon development strategy for a developing country. The LCDS reflected that Guyana is at the intersection of many different aspects of climate challenge. On the one hand, our low coastline means we are deeply affected by climate change. ”

“In 2005, flooding caused economic damage equivalent to 60 per cent of GDP. On the other hand, our forests make a very significant contribution to the global fight against climate change. The LCDS paved the way for us to join Norway in 2009 in the world’s third largest international forest partnership where the climate services provided by our forests were paid for the first time – ensuring a US $ 250 million payment performance basis for climate available. services to fund climate friendly investments. ”

Minister Singh also chaired the Eighth Special Meeting of the Caribbean Community Finance and Planning Council (Caricom) (COFAP). The meeting, which was virtually held, brought together several Prime Ministers and Finance Ministers, together with Central Bank Governors and other senior finance officials.
“Thursday’s meeting involved Finance Ministers exchanging views on joint advocacy positions they might want to adopt during the upcoming International Monetary Fund (IMF) – World Bank Spring Meetings 2021,” said a statement from the Ministry .
“The meeting also addressed and reached agreement on a number of long-standing issues relating to the CSME, including Caricom’s Policies on Credit Reporting, Deposit Insurance, Regional Securities Market Development and Regulation, as well Caricom Financial Services Agreement and the Double Taxation Agreement -Caricom. ”
In his opening remarks at the meeting, Minister Singh also highlighted that the meeting was taking place at a time when the region was facing unprecedented economic challenges, stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought the importance of talking important with one unified voice on issues of shared interest at forthcoming IMF / World Bank Spring Meetings.
He also highlighted the urgency in which progress is needed on many of the longstanding issues that need to be addressed to promote the supporting architecture for the Single Market and Caribbean Economy (CSME), and he urged that these matters be dealt with in a final and timely manner.

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