Energy and food security will be topping the agenda of bilateral talks when leaders of India and Guyana meet for bilateral talks on the sidelines of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention on January 9, 2023.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have bilateral talks with Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. He is of Indian origin and is the chief guest at PBD.
In response to a question by Financial Express Online, Dr Ausaf Sayeed, Secretary (CPV & OIA), Ministry of External Affairs said “Energy will be one of the subject we would like to build upon, as India’s energy demands are expected to go up from 4.8 million barrels per day in 2021 to almost 11.1 million barrels per day as we look decades later.”
According to him the Indian companies are already importing crude from the Caribbean nation worth around US dollars 1.5 million. Other issues the two leaders will discuss would include migration & mobility, food processing, infrastructure, agriculture and ICT.
It has been reported earlier in Financial Express Online that soon the Caribbean nation is set to overtake Brazil as top oil producer in the region. So far over one million barrels of crude oil have already been bought by Indian companies.
In view of the geopolitical situation India has been consciously making efforts to expand its crude imports basket since 2020 – first it was the global lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic and then in the last one year the Russia-Ukraine conflict which has impacted the energy market as well sanctions US led sanctions against Russia.
India has been in talks to buy more crude from Guyana and this had also featured during the visit of Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs four-nation tour to the region last November.
He was there for the 4th round of Foreign Office Consultations and the two sides discussed regional and international issues as well as CARICOM and working together in multilateral forums.
They also reviewed bilateral ties in different sectors including oil and gas, food security, trade and economic, health and pharmaceuticals, climate change, culture, education and more.
Diaspora from the LAC Region at PBD
From the region around 100 delegates including two top leaders — Guyanese and the Suriname side, ministers as well as businessmen and others have already reached Indore for PBD.
According to GV Srinivas, Additional Secretary of Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC) the reason behind inviting the two top leaders is obvious. Guyana has 40 percent of the Indian origin people and they have elected an Indian origin man as the President. And In Suriname, there are 27 percent Indian Origin people and they are in majority.
As reported earlier at the invitation of Prime Minister Modi the President of Guyana is coming as the Chief Guest and the President of Suriname is coming as a Special Guest of Honour.
And, at the invitation of External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, the Panamanian Foreign Minister Janaina Tewaney who is of Indian origin is also participating. She is one of the panelists too during one of the parleys.
According to reports in the public domain the first time India imported crude from Guyana was in July 2021. According to reports Indian Oil Corp had made its first purchase of Guyana’s Liza light sweet crude. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) chairman Shrikant M Vaidya has been quoted in a section of the media that IOC as it seeks to diversify its oil imports has entered into a contract to buy 3 million tonnes of US crude.