More information about Guyana is available on the Guyana Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
U.S. policy toward Guyana seeks to develop robust, sustainable democratic institutions, laws, and political practices; support economic growth and development; promote an active, organized, and empowered civil society; and promote stability and security. Beginning in the late 1980s, Guyana sought to improve relations with the United States as part of a decision to shift toward political nonalignment, moving from state socialism and one-party control to a market economy and greater freedom of the press and assembly. This shift, recent free and fair democratic elections, closer security cooperation, and expanding trade and investment have helped place U.S.-Guyanese relations on an excellent footing.
The United States values Guyana's partnership and cooperation on issues of mutual interest. Together, the two countries promote democracy and respect for human rights; empower youth, women, the private sector, and civic/opinion leaders to formulate grassroots responses to social and economic challenges; support new initiatives to improve the health of the Guyanese people; and, through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, enhance the security and prosperity of the region.
U.S. Assistance to Guyana
Working together through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), the United States and Guyana, along with other nations of the Caribbean, are combating drug trafficking and other transnational crimes that threaten regional security. The United States also works closely with Guyana in the fight against HIV/AIDS through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program. U.S. agencies, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), are administering a multi-million dollar program of education, prevention, and treatment for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, and contributing to the country’s health care capacity. USAID also supports an activity designed to strengthen political processes and institutions. The Public Affairs Section is developing people-to-people ties through exchange programs and by supporting meaningful discourse and programs with civil society, the private sector, and government on issues of bilateral importance. U.S. military medical and engineering teams continue to conduct training exercises in Guyana, digging wells, building schools and clinics, and providing medical treatment.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The World Bank has calculated Guyana’s GDP for 2012 at US$2.85 billion with a per capita GNI of US$3,400, based on the purchasing power parity model. Based on its GDP, Guyana remains one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. The World Bank reported annual GDP growth for 2012 as 4.8 percent. The mining and quarrying, agriculture, and manufacturing and services sectors contributed most to that growth, while the inflation rate for 2012 was 2.39 percent due in large part to rising fuel and food prices. Net international reserves at the end of 2012 stood at US$864.0 million, compared to US$801.8 million for 2011. According to the World Bank, in 2011 (the latest available figures), Guyana received US$373.1 million in remittances, which represented 14.5 percent of Guyana’s GDP.
The United States continued to be one of Guyana’s most significant trading partners in 2012. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Guyana recorded a US$163.1 million merchandise trade surplus with the United States in 2012. This represents a significant increase from 2011, a year in which Guyana recorded a trade surplus of $60.9 million. The U.S. market remained significant for Guyana with export earnings of US$424.5 million at the end of 2012, an 18 percent decrease from export earnings of US$522.9 million at the end of 2011. Guyana’s imports amounted to US$359.8 million from the U.S. at the end of 2012, a 1 percent decrease from the imports value of US$363.6 million in 2011. Guyana’s major exports to the United States in 2012 continued to be non-monetary gold, fish and shellfish, aluminum and bauxite, lumber and wood, and apparel and household goods. The major imports from the United States in 2012 were machinery, foodstuffs, animal feeds, petroleum products, chemicals, computers and computer accessories, passenger vehicles, telecommunication equipment, and pharmaceuticals. Guyanese products such as apparel knit with U.S.-made material, sugar, seafood, fruit, and other agricultural products enjoy duty-free access to the U.S. market under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act, which has been extended to 2020.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has identified the Guyana Suriname basin as having the second highest resource potential among unexplored oil basins in the world and estimates indicate recoverable oil reserves of 15 billion barrels of oil and gas reserves of 42 trillion cubic feet. Under the Energy Governance and Capacity Initiative (EGCI), the United Stated Government provides a range of technical and capacity building assistance as Guyana seeks to develop financial and regulatory regimes and address capacity issues that would maximize the development potential from prospective offshore oil and gas resources.
Guyana's Membership in International Organizations
Following its independence from the United Kingdom in 1966, Guyana sought an influential role in international affairs, particularly among developing countries and nonaligned nations. Guyana and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Organization of American States, and International Monetary Fund. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat is headquartered in Guyana.
The U.S. Ambassador to Guyana is D. Brent Hardt; he also serves as the U.S. Plenipotentiary Representative to CARICOM. Other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.
Guyana maintains an embassy in the United States at 2490 Tracy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-265-6900), and a Consulate at 306 West 38th Street, New York, NY 10018.
More information about Guyana is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Guyana Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Guyana Page
U.S. Embassy: Guyana
USAID Guyana Page
History of U.S. Relations With Guyana
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Travel and Business Information