Rowley reminds Guyana of TT debt write-off…which he strongly opposed back in 1996

Must Read

We did not discuss Exxon; Guyana President says of meetings with Secretary Pompeo

During his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State, Michael R. Pompeo, Guyana’s President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, said that...

Yellowtail could add another 220,000 bpd to Guyana output, 7 floaters on the cards – Hess

Though the Hammerhead area was targeted for the fourth development project in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana,...

Pompeo discusses leveraging Guyana’s wealth of natural resources with President Ali

Shortly after arriving in Guyana on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met with President Irfaan Ali, during...
OilNOW
OilNow is an online-based Information and Resource Centre which serves to complement the work of all stakeholders in the oil and gas sector in Guyana.

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley told reporters in Guyana on Wednesday that the twin island republic has been a good friend to the South American country over the years even choosing to write off billions of dollars in debt owed by Guyana.

The Prime Minister was at the time addressing concerns raised in Guyana about a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on energy cooperation that the two countries signed on Wednesday in Georgetown. Sections of the Guyanese private sector had pointed out that any engagement with Trinidad that opens the way for businesses from that country to benefit from oil and gas opportunities in Guyana must be carefully considered, particularly in the absence of a local content framework.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Guyana’s President, David Granger and Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge, Dr. Rowley sought to set the record straight. He said since the matter has been a subject of national and international discourse he would be ‘failing in his duty’ if he did not point out that “we in Trinidad and Tobago are proud to have the records show that as a small developing country, not being a member of the Paris Club, when Guyana sought relief at the Paris Club for debt forgiveness, we in Trinidad and Tobago wrote off billions of Trinidad and Tobago dollars of Guyana debt…”

He went on to point out that the twin island republic took this course of action in the face of international pressures but nevertheless does not hold it as a quid pro quo but as a signal that Trinidad is a friendly cooperating neighbour.

However, it was the same Dr. Rowley who in 1996 at the time the issue of the debt write-off was raised, said Guyana has “picked the pockets of Trinidad and Tobago.” He is quoted in a June 11, 1996 Inter Press Service News Agency report as saying that his party did not support the then government’s decision to write off a significant portion of Guyana’s debt and would like to see the money owed to Trinidad and Tobago repaid through assets such as forestry land, rice and gold mining interests which he said Guyana had in abundance.

Meanwhile, President Granger said that the fears expressed by the private sector over a Trinidad take over are unjustified and baseless. Rather, he said the private sector should be proud and pleased with the step that the two Governments have taken. “There is nothing in the MoU, which seeks to harm the interests of one State or the other. There is no sell out. There were some unjustified fears that Guyana is giving away the family jewels but that is not true. It is simply a means of collaborating. Trinidad is bringing years of experience not only in production but in marketing, in gas, in oil spills, in dealing with multinational corporations and the MoU is a means of benefiting from Trinidad and Tobago’s expertise and experience. So that fear of giving away is completely unjustified,” he stated at the press conference.

Private sector officials have said the creation of a framework that allows for local and foreign companies in the oil and gas industry to collaborate in a mutually beneficial manner is key to allaying such fears.

The local content debate has been raging since the first oil discovery in Guyana by ExxonMobil back in 2015. Since then the company has made 8 more discoveries amounting to more than 4 billion barrels of oil, placing Guyana as an upcoming major oil producer in the region.

The massive revenues and business opportunities that come with oil production have pushed the local business community into high gear with several companies moving to build capacity and upgrade their operations. Private sector officials contend that a local content development framework must allow for the transfer of knowledge and skills from foreign companies to their local counterparts so that Guyanese enterprise would eventually be able to play a leading role in the future decades-old industry. The absence of such a framework to date, coupled with the potential influx of foreign companies, have combined to provoke a high degree of anxiety and concern among the Guyanese private sector.

- Advertisement -

3 COMMENTS

  1. This is quite true. Either the businessmen have not properly read their history, or they have forgotten their past, so they need reminders, before they forget their past and cannot identify when the same thing is repeated. Please do not forget to remember, that the millions of dollars which were borrowed, not one cent benefited the Guyanese. They became the laughing stock of the whole Caribbean.?

  2. Parroting talking points that suit ignorant views is a vicious cycle that does nothing other than reinforce said ignorance. Who is the crime capital of the Caribbean now and why (no laughing matter by the way), are good questions you should ask yourself. Who is seeking help now, is another more pertinent one? Furthermore you would do well to be reminded of that age old adage about he who laughs last. Hey, I guess it’s Guyana’s turn now. The only difference is that as a people we are way better than begrudging a helping hand to those who need one. You’re welcome.

Comments are closed.

Latest News

We did not discuss Exxon; Guyana President says of meetings with Secretary Pompeo

During his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State, Michael R. Pompeo, Guyana’s President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, said that...

2020 expected to be a ‘one and done’ recession as oil demand bounces back – API

The enormous challenges triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic this year have caused major disruptions to the global oil and gas industry resulting...

Yellowtail could add another 220,000 bpd to Guyana output, 7 floaters on the cards – Hess

Though the Hammerhead area was targeted for the fourth development project in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana, the high quality oil discovered...

Pompeo discusses leveraging Guyana’s wealth of natural resources with President Ali

Shortly after arriving in Guyana on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met with President Irfaan Ali, during which the two leaders discussed...

Department of Energy remains operational, actively involved in Payara negotiations – Vickram Bharrat

Guyana’s Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, told Members of Parliament on Tuesday that the Department of Energy (DE) remains operational and...

More Articles Like This