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 and 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, closer security cooperation, and expanding trade and investment have helped place U.S.-Guyanese relations on excellent footing. With the shift in Guyana’s economy to an oil-producing nation, the U.S. partnership is more important than ever to help Guyana become a leader in the region on issues of security and governance.
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 (CBSI), 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 worked 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), administered a multimillion-dollar program of education, prevention, and treatment for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, contributing to the country’s healthcare capacity. The Public Affairs Section develops people-to-people ties through exchange programs such as the Youth Ambassadors program, the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI), the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, and the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, and by supporting meaningful discourse with civil society, the private sector, and government on issues of bilateral importance through cultural, educational, sports, and music programs. U.S. military medical and engineering teams continue to conduct training exercises in Guyana, digging wells, building schools and clinics, and providing medical treatment. The Treasury Department’s Office of Technical Assistance provides support to the Guyana Revenue Authority to strengthen auditing capacity.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Guyana’s GDP in 2018 was $3.8 billion. According to the Bank of Guyana, remittances to Guyana increased in 2018 by 3.4 percent to $327.9 million, from $317.2 million in 2017. Remittances in 2018 represented approximately 14 percent of Guyana’s GDP.
The United States continues to be one of Guyana’s most significant trading partners. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Guyana recorded a $230 million merchandise trade deficit with the United States in 2018. The U.S. market remained significant for Guyana with export earnings of $199 million at the end of 2018. Guyana’s imports from the United States amounted to $429 million at the end of 2018. Guyana’s major exports to the United States in 2018 continued to be non-monetary gold, fish and shellfish, bauxite, lumber and wood, and apparel and household goods. The major imports from the United States in 2018 were articles of iron and steel, motor cars, machinery, foodstuffs, animal feeds, petroleum products, chemicals, computers and computer accessories, passenger vehicles, telecommunication equipment, and pharmaceuticals.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Guyanese coastal area holds recoverable oil reserves of roughly 13.6 billion barrels and gas reserves of 32 trillion cubic feet. ExxonMobil, the majority partner in a consortium including Hess and the Chinese National Offshore Oil Company, began producing oil in December 2019. Projected production for 2020 stands at 120,000 barrels of oil per day, with the potential for production of more than 750,000 barrels of oil per day by 2025.
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. In 2020, Guyana serves as the chair of the G77 grouping of developing countries in the United Nations.
Principal U.S. 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 Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Guyana Page
USAID Guyana Page
History of U.S. Relations With Guyana
Millennium Challenge Corporation: Guyana
Library of Congress Country Studies