Last Updated on Thursday, 19 May 2022, 10:24 by Denis Chabrol
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday said he preferred a memorandum of understanding with Trinidad and Tobago as a way forward to removing a range of non-tariff barriers.
“Hopefully, the MoU will go towards resolving the difficulties we have had so you have to have a pathway to solving the problem. You just can’t complain about it and I think that’swhat we’re looking for,” he told Denerara Waves Online News just before the official opening of the Agri-Invest Forum.
He added that government wanted to hold a “discussion” with the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) which has already registered its opposition to an accord unless a range of non-tariff barriers.
Pressed on whether Guyana would insist on the inclusion of provisions for Trinidad and Tobago to remove those trade barriers. Mr. Jagdeo said, “I think a lot of focus is on that- removing barriers to trade in agricultural products across the region,” he said.
The Vice President stayed clear of saying whether there should be strict timeliness for the scrapping of the barriers, even as he acknowledged that there is some skepticism about MoUs. He is, however, banking on Guyana’s strong advocacy, it’s constant presence on CARICOM’S agenda and the global food shortage that “more people will find it feasible to remove these barriers to intra-regional trade.”
Among the barriers to intra-regional trade is a 1930s law that prohibits the entry of foreign honey aboard ships in Trinidad and Tobago’s waters or land. Several years ago, La Parkan had been fined thousands of US dollars by Trinidad and Tobago after authorities had found a consignment of honey aboard a vessel in transit to another destination.
The GCCI has also been complaining about T&T’s barriers to meats, vegetables and fruits from Guyana.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister is among several regional leaders in Guyana for the agriculture forum and Expo.