Review Of Guyana in the Islamic World, 1948-2008

Trade and Culture

In June 2002 President Bharrat Jagdeo invited the newly-accredited Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Guyana, Mr. Ahmad Sobhani for his country to participate in the Guy Expo. The President extended the invitation to the Ambassador during an accreditation ceremony at the Office of the President earlier today, noting that the “participation by Iran will certainly encourage the possibilities for trade between the two countries.”

Iran had exhibited many products at various venues in Guyana, and the President said that this exercise should be preserved to strengthen economic relations between the two countries, as their relationship is reflective of the countries desire to work together. “In the past groups of businessmen from Iran have held trade fairs in Guyana to showcase your country’s products. These exhibitions should be continued in the interest of developing economic relations,” the President said. The Iranian Ambassador was also encouraged to explore possibilities of investment for his country locally, as Guyana has potential for investment in several areas including agriculture, mining, manufacturing and information technology which is now evolving.
President Bharrat Jagdeo noted that Iran and Guyana have had multilateral engagements in the past and have worked together closely on issues of global peace and development. Some of the forums at which they have been engaged are the Organisation of Islamic Conference, the Non-Aligned Movement, the G77 and the United Nations. In accepting the Letters of Recall from Mr. Sobhani that accredits him as the Ambassador of Iran to Guyana, President Jagdeo extended good wishes to his homeland and his predecessor.

Ambassador Sobhani said that there are common grounds on which the two countries could work. Examples he cited are the issues of security and international relations. He urged that efforts to strengthen relations between Iran and Guyana be strengthened, especially in the area of trade. At present, Iran is involved in commerce and culture in Guyana. “I hope we can establish the foundation for bilateral ties and promoting mutual knowledge about the two countries.”

Iran held a trade fair and exhibition in July 2002 in Guyana. The event was opened by Guyana’s Minister of Trade, Tourism and Industry Geoffrey Da Silva. The exhibition was meant to acquaint Guyanese with Iranian goods, while the Iranians examined local items for export, and it was intended to encourage Iranian-Guyanese joint ventures. This trade link between Guyana and Iran was established through a joint venture agreement with the Iranian firm of Sadr Export House Company and local businesses. Research and Marketing Manager of the Iranian company, Mr. Mehdi Souri was in Guyana with other Iranians on a promotion tour complete with goods for sale at the Muslim Youth Organisation (MYO) complex, in Georgetown the capital of Guyana. Mr. Mehdi Souri of Sadr Export House Company coordinated the event. Among the offerings were carpets, plastic utensils, ceramic vases, and table lamps.

The Iranian businessman disclosed that a branch will be established locally to respond to the needs of Guyanese and to explore other areas of development. “(We want) to have a mutual relationship”, he said. “I think we can use your lumber and have our experts come here and make furniture”, Souri said. He said the idea of the exhibition is to get acquainted with Guyanese traders and to get to know their needs. “We want to help to produce what they need, and to make them self-sufficient.” Souri in 2002 held discussions with Minister of Trade, Tourism and Industry, Mr. Geoffrey Da Silva. Mr. Mohamed Khan of MFK Trading in Georgetown also signaled an intention to enter a joint venture agreement with Sadr Export House Company.