Guyana, St Lucia Can Build Integrated Model to Achieve Regional Integration – President Ali

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali underscored that systemic integration between Guyana and St Lucia requires the integration of their educational and healthcare systems and technological platforms to achieve regional integration.

The president made the remarks while addressing St Lucia’s Parliament, on Wednesday, on the occasion of the nation’s 45th Independence anniversary.

“Systemic integration requires our education and healthcare systems and technological platform to be integrated…Connectivity is not just the movement of people, goods, and services. Connectivity is about the movement of ideas, policies, and the integration of systems. Connectivity must be able to address all of this if we are to build a seamless system,” the Guyanese leader informed the august house.

The two countries can work together in the field of security to build a robust system, President Ali stated, while noting that this would pave the way for the states to propel their relationship to new heights.

Furthermore, he said, “This would allow us to demonstrate to the private sector that we are serious about creating opportunities for them. And to demonstrate to the private sector that we are ready to create an enabling and conducive environment, and to support their expansion by making it easier for them to do business.”

President Ali emphasised that systemic disparity can be tackled by the integration of the region.

With St Lucia having a food import bill of about 2,345 metric tonnes per annum, the head of state explained that the local production systems could be created to eliminate those imports there.

Investment in shade houses and hydroponics, he noted, would help the country in reducing its food import bill by almost 70 per cent.

Guyana has adopted a model by creating innovative agro-business opportunities using technology, research, and the involvement of women and young people.

“What this does is that it allows the rethinking of agriculture and the opportunities that exist in agriculture. And in allowing this rethinking, you have new capital and technology that come in and a renewed interest. Agriculture is part of the food production system…” the head of state explained.

“Both nations need to work out the mechanism through which the bureaucracy and barriers can be removed…And through which there is a commitment and political and bureaucratic will,” President Ali added.

He explained that the regional food hub can be built in such a way that it connects St Lucia, not only for their own needs but for St Lucia to become a distribution hub.

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