—High-level bilateral commission to be established
Georgetown, Guyana—(April 22, 2022) His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali said that the new agreement between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) is a “living document” and signals a partnership designed to benefit both countries.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), was signed today in the presence of the Guyanese Head of State and the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Dr Keith Rowley.
It provides for renewed and enhanced cooperation in the areas of trade and investment. It is also expected to address non-tariff barriers and other impediments to the flow of goods and services, while pursuing enhanced cooperation in agriculture and food security, security, energy, infrastructure, tourism, education, sport and culture.
The agreement will also look to enhance the sustainable and resilient development of the two countries and advance the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.
“What we have concluded and chartered is a joint commitment on how we want to secure the futures of the people of these two countries by working together in a partnership, looking at joint opportunities, looking at low-hanging fruits, and developing the long-term pathway through which we will enjoy success for Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and the people of both countries.”
To oversee the implementation of the MoU, a high-level bilateral commission will be established, comprising of representatives from both public and private sectors from the two nations.
“Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago have a long and glorious history of working together. And what we have done today is to set the agenda and narrative that we don’t want it any other way but the way in which we will work together to realise the aspirations of the people of our countries .”
He said too that the discussions between the two countries have been “very focused, positive and forward-looking” and have allowed the chance to identify missed opportunities, new opportunities and importantly, the blocks to those opportunities.
“At the end of the day, we’re not only neighbours, at the end of the day we are not only part of a community, we are part of a family. We are part of a family and we want our relationship to be defined in such constraints.”
President Ali stressed the importance of the involvement of the private sector, investors and the citizens in the process which he added can lead to not only transformation but tremendous diversification. The MoU, he reminded, is the ideal platform and the vehicle through which this can be achieved. Once that commitment is there, the President said the opportunities can be “mind-blowing”.
Prime Minister Rowley lauded President Ali and his team for the success of the inaugural Agri-Investment Forum and Exhibition, which he described as an “outstanding event”.
He said, “I want to associate myself with every phrase which was uttered by President Ali, and I want to say to the people of Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago and to the wider CARICOM that we are limited only by our own vision and our own commitment to do what has to be done. Once we commit ourselves to do what has to be done to improve our circumstances, nothing will prevent us from achieving success”.
He added that what was demonstrated over the last few days in Guyana is that CARICOM can seek and, through cooperation, find solutions to the many problems that exist, including having an adequate food supply.
Prime Minister Rowley said that the private sector needs to refocus investment in food supply, from production, to transportation, to processing and distribution. He spoke too of the importance of the involvement of young people in the agriculture sector from both countries.
Within the coming weeks and months, he noted, there will be enhanced cooperation between Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana as they intend to “stay the course”.