Outgoing EC Delegation Head backs political dialogue
Says Guyana has to face up to trade challenges
Stabroek News
September 25, 2003

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Vincent DeVisscher, the outgoing Head of the Delegation of the European Commission (EC), says dialogue is the way to go in solving Guyana’s problems.

According to DeVisscher, only Guyanese can solve the problems of Guyana and this is through dialogue.

The out-going Head of the Delegation of the EC to Guyana, Suriname, Aruba, Trinidad and Tobago and the Netherlands Antilles, has left Guyana to take up a post in the European Commission headquarters in Belgium, after 27 years of service outside his home country, a release said.

He also points out that Guyana has to face up to trade challenges and remain active in trade negotiations, noting that the world is not going to wait for the country to advance. DeVisscher contends that in that light Guyana “needs to maintain a network of friends and recognise that the future of the region is further integration and better trade relations,” the release said.

According to DeVisscher, one of the most significant events under his

stewardship was the European Commission’s support for the electoral process in Guyana.

However, acknowledging that there were some frustrating times during his stint here, he notes in particular the slow pace of the dialogue process and the recent security problems in the country. This, he says, caused everything to be put on hold and several projects were delayed. But he notes that there has been some improvement within the last few months and hopes that this trend will continue.

While in Guyana the task of enlarging the Delegation to cover five countries as it now does has been a hard task, DeVisscher notes, but today it is better staffed than it was when the process started.

“I am pleased that it has all come together, very pleased and proud to leave a Delegation standing on its own feet.”

He also says that he was impressed with the Guyanese people, with the openness that exists between the government and the private sector, the hospitality and the fact that he never felt unsafe or insecure. And his only regret is that he was never able to visit the interior of Guyana since it seemed as if the Delegation was always reorganising.