Cooperative Republic of Guyana
Brazil and Guyana share a border of 1.605 km and have a long-standing friendly relationship.
In 1968, two years after the declaration of Independence of the former British colony, Vice Prime Minister Ptolemy Reid visited Brazil. On the occasion, the two countries signed a cultural agreement and established bilateral relations.
In 1971, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Mário Gibson Barbosa visited Georgetown. He was the first Latin American foreign minister to set foot on Guyanese soil. This event demonstrates that, since the early years of independent Guyana, Brazil has acknowledged the need for fully incorporating that country into the South American diplomatic arena, without undermining Guyanese close ties with the Caribbean.
Brazil-Guyana relations deepened from the 1990s onwards with the increasing number of Brazilians who took up residence in the neighboring country. In 2001, the two countries signed a Partial Scope Agreement, which entered into force in 2004, establishing tariff preferences on several goods. The bridge over the Tacutu River, the first land connection between Brazil and Guyana, was inaugurated in 2009 and became a concrete and decisive step toward the integration between the two countries, thus expanding prospects for development both in Guyana and in northern Brazil. In 2012, Guyana joined MERCOSUR as an Associate State, reflecting the two countries’ convergent positions on the commitment to the South American integration. The 50 years of the establishment of the Brazil-Guyana diplomatic relations were celebrated in 2018.
The dynamic bilateral relationship manifests itself in an agenda that covers several areas, including border integration, safety and defense cooperation, and technical cooperation and has been showing concrete results. The Brazil-Guyana Border Committee convened in its 7th meeting in 2018, in the city of Bonfim (Brazilian state of Roraima). In 2020, the aforementioned Committee held an extraordinary meeting to coordinate efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic. Brazil and Guyana have been working towards implementing the Bilateral Agreement on Passenger and Cargo Transport, which was the object of two technical-level meetings in 2019. The bilateral program of technical cooperation has been updated and today it encompasses the negotiation and implementation of initiatives in the agricultural area as well as a concluded project for the mitigation of drought effects.
In the economic and commercial fields, efforts have been made to increase the trade and investment flow between the two countries. Bilateral trade totaled $47.2 million in 2019, with a $46.6 million surplus in favor of Brazil. Bilateral talks within the scope of the Administrative Commission for the Economic Complementation Partial Scope Agreement (AAP-38) continues to advance. In December 2018, Brazil and Guyana signed the Cooperation and Investment Facilitation Agreement, which is a sign of the interest in deepening bilateral economic relations and establishes a legal framework to stimulate mutual investments.
Brazil and Guyana also have an interest in strengthening the already solid bilateral cooperation in defense and in the fight against transnational crimes. The renegotiation of the Defense Cooperation Agreement, already at an advanced stage, will provide the legal framework for the pursuit of this fruitful aspect of the cooperation, which includes joint operations between the Brazilian Army and Guyana’s Defense Force, and internship opportunities in Brazil for Guyanese military engineers.
Within the context of the discovery by Guyana of large oil fields, which started producing in December 2019, and to promote both economic growth and social development for the neighboring country and its people, Brazil and Guyana have been exploring the possibility of cooperation in the energy sector.
The partnership established between Brazil and Guyana also extends to the regional context. In addition to being an associate state of MERCOSUR, Guyana is a member of the ACTO and the OAS. On January 23, 2018, the country joined the Lima Group. Guyana was also a signatory to the Santiago Declaration, which on March 22, 2019, created the Forum for the Progress of South America (PROSUR). Brazil and Guyana share the same seat at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Chronology of bilateral relations
2019 – Vice-President and Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge represents Guyana at the inauguration of President Jair Bolsonaro. On the occasion, he holds a working meeting with Minister Ernesto Araújo (January 1st)
2018 – The Brazil-Guyana Cooperation and Investment Facilitation Agreement is signed (December 13)
2018 – Meeting of the Brazil-Guyana Border Committee (Bonfim, October 30-31)
2018 – Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira visits Guyana (Georgetown, July 12)
2017 – The President of Guyana, David Arthur Granger, visits Brazil (Brasilia, December 20-21)
2015 – President David Granger visits Brasilia on the occasion of the MERCOSUR Summit
2013 – The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Brazil and Guyana meet on the sidelines of the MERCOSUR Summit in Montevideo and establish the Brazil-Guyana Joint Commission for the Development of Infrastructure Projects (Montevideo, July 11-12)
2013 – At the MERCOSUR Summit, Guyana and Suriname become observer members of the mechanism (April 12)
2012 – The Memorandum of Understanding between Brazil and Guyana on infrastructure projects is signed (December 5)
2011 – Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Patriota visits Georgetown (August 11)
2010 – President Bharrat Jagdeo visits Brasilia. The Memorandum of Understanding on phytosanitary safety of products of vegetal origin is signed
2009 – The First Meeting of the Border Committee is held in Boa Vista (November)
2009 – The bridge over the Tacutu River opens to pedestrians and traffic in July and is inaugurated by the Presidents of Brazil and Guyana (September 14)
2008 – President Bharrat Jagdeo participates in regional summit meetings (Rio Group, UNASUR and CALC) in Costa do Sauípe, Bahia (December)
2008 – President Bharrat Jagdeo participates in the Extraordinary Meeting of Heads of State and Government, in which the UNASUR Constitutive Treaty was signed (Brasilia, May)
2007 – The Minister of Home Affairs of Guyana, Clement Rohee, visits Brasilia (September)
2007 – President Lula visits Georgetown to participate in the Rio Group Summit Meeting (March 2 - 3)
2007 – Construction works of the bridge over the Tacatu River resume
2005 – President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visits Guyana (February 15)
2003 – President Jagdeo makes a working visit to Brazil (July 30)
2002 – Foreign Minister Rudolph Insannaly visits Brasilia. The Brazil-Guyana Bilateral Political Consultations Mechanism is established
1993 – President Cheddi Jagan visits Brasilia
1988 – President José Sarney visits Guyana
1982 – The President of Guiana, Forbes Burnham, visits Brazil
1982 – Minister of Foreign Affairs Saraiva Guerreiro visits Guyana and the Guyanese foreign minister visits Brazil. The Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation; the Basic Technical Cooperation Agreement; the Basic on Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement and a memorandum on the interconnection of the Brazilian and the Guyanese road systems are signed
1982 – The Agreement on the Construction of an International Bridge over the Tacutu River is signed (January)
1971 – Minister of Foreign Affairs Mário Gibson is the first Brazilian and Latin American Foreign Minister to visit Guyana. On the occasion, the two countries agree on the establishment of an economic cooperation commission, the signing of a cultural agreement, and the establishment of cooperation in technology and transport
1968 – Mission of the Government of Guyana, headed by Prime Minister Ptolemy Reid, visits Brazil in the first high-level contact between the two countries. On the occasion, a cultural agreement is signed, and diplomatic relations are established
1936 – Signing of the Tri-junction Point Agreement between Brazil, the Netherlands and England, establishing the border between Brazil, Suriname and Guyana
1904 – The King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III, pronounces, on June 6, the arbitral decision on the question of the British Guyana (or the question of Pirara) between Brazil and the United Kingdom, which divides the disputed territory as follows: 3/5 to the UK and 2/5 to Brazil