The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has endorsed the Government of Guyana’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Trinidad and Tobago, following a public commitment to address the twin-island nation’s trade barriers against Guyana.
In a press statement released Sunday, the Chamber cited the move as ”a step in the right direction”.
The MoU which was inked hours earlier at State House in Georgetown was initially set to target areas such as agriculture, energy and national security. However, due to concerns raised by the GCCI, both countries have now committed to addressing the removal of the trade barriers for better business development. Last week, the Chamber had issued its strong disapproval of the MoU and urged the government to refrain from signing until the trade barriers are removed.
The private sector representation organisation had highlighted that the barriers are a major hindrance to exportation and the expansion of Guyanese businesses into Trinidad.
At the Sunday press conference led by Guyana President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and Trinidad Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley, Ali revealed that Guyana and Trinidad will be exploring the establishment of a cargo/ferry service between both countries, coupled with the removal of the barriers for easier transport of goods.
Prime Minister Rowley commented that there would be pushback from some in Trinidad.
In its press statement, the GCCI called for the Trinidadian private sector’s support in the removal of the trade barriers. “The Chamber would like to encourage its private sector colleagues in Trinidad & Tobago to support its Government in the work to remove trade barriers. Such support would engender a relationship based on mutual respect and usher in a spirit of cooperation between the territories for the advancement of the regional agenda and private sector development,” it said.
The Chamber also reiterated its commitment to private sector development in Guyana and reaffirmed its willingness to offer support in the work to remove trade barriers in the region.