Islamabad, 22 March 2022: The Finance Minister of Guyana, Ashni Kumar Singh, attended the 48th OIC Foreign Ministers’ Summit in Islamabad.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan welcomed the visit of the Guyanese Finance Minister today through its official Twitter account.

The Twitter account of the Spokesperson announced that “At the historic occasion of OIC 48th CFM, we in Pakistan accord a warm welcome to Ashni Kumar Singh, Finance Minister of Guyana”.

South America and the OIC

Guyana is one of the only two countries from the Western Hemisphere that are also part of OIC. The other country is Suriname. Both are neighboring countries located in the Northern part of the South American continent.

Guyana President met OIC Secretary-General
OIC secretary-general met the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Mr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali in 2021

Even though they form a minority in both countries, Muslim populations there are politically significant. About 7% of the population of Guyana profess the Islamic faith, whereas 14% of the Surinamese population is Muslim.

Most of these Muslims are descended from Indian and Javanese indentured servants that were brought in the region during the colonial period. Guyana became a full member of the OIC in 1998, while Suriname joined two years before in 1996.

Since their joining, both countries have participated in many OIC events and activities. In 2019, A delegation from OIC’s Commission for Economic and Commercial Cooperation visited Suriname.

They decided to enhance ties in the fields of trade, transport, agriculture, tourism, poverty alleviation, and the financial and private sector. COMCEC financially supports several infrastructure projects in the country.

Last year, the Secretary-General of the OIC discussed prospects of joint cooperation with the President of Guyana, Dr. Irfaan Ali.

They discussed aspects of enhancing cooperation between the OIC and the Republic of Guyana and activating its role within the framework of joint Islamic action.

Moreover, they discussed ways to support the country in many fields within the context of Islamic solidarity. The current President of Guyana, Dr. Irfaan Ali, is a Muslim.