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April 7, 2014

Update on the building of the Corentyne River Bridge

The Guyana government has budgeted resources to prepare the Corentyne Bridge terminal in the 2014 national budget.
The Finance Minister said that an agreement has been reached with Suriname, an unspecified amount is budgeted, and work is to commence.
In February this year, Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett reported that plans are well underway. Engineers are currently working on what the bridge will look like in terms of design. The Chinese Government, according to her, will fund construction.

The Foreign Minister said, “Guyana, at the request of Suriname, has informed the Chinese Government that we are supportive of the bridge across the Corentyne River.
The Guyana Government has also sent ‘No Objection’ letters to the Foreign Ministries of Suriname and China in support of the construction of the bridge.

In 2010, then President, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo and his Surinamese counterpart, President Desi Bouterse, signed an accord for the undertaking of a feasibility study on bridging the Corentyne River, with both countries pledging to pursue a closer working relationship.
Berbice River Bridge

During another meeting in Suriname in 2012, Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar and Suriname’s President Bouterse had agreed to move to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to seek joint financing for construction of the bridge. At that meeting, the two Heads reiterated the significance of building the structure, noting that it would considerably enhance trade and economic relations and cultural exchanges between the peoples of the two nations.

The bridge across the Corentyne River has been identified as one of the projects that would further physically integrate the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), of which Guyana is a member. It remains, therefore, a key area of focus for the governments of both countries.

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