Trinidad and Tobago: A collaborative technical task force between the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Co-operative Republic of Guyana has been appointed to work on the removal of all non-tariff barriers between the two countries.
This is one of the announcements made during a joint media conference hosted by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, after a bilateral meeting held at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s on Thursday, 18th August 2022.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in May 2020 between both countries with a focus on agriculture and food security, security, energy, infrastructure, trade and investment. To achieve this objective, President Ali said Prime Minister Rowley highlighted the importance of standardisation and appointed the technical task force to ensure the free flow of goods into both countries with a clear interpretation of the laws and regulations.
The Guyanese President said a list of non-tariff items had been established, and “what we want to do in this task force is to have the interpretation done for them by the policymakers. So no individual can determine or try to interpret a statute outside of the interpretation that will be given.” He said, “We are now saying loudly that we recognise there is a systemic problem and we have to solve those systemic problems, and we are committing ourselves to the resolution of the problem through this task force.”
Prime Minister Rowley said, “If we have barriers between CARICOM countries, then increasing CARICOM production for CARICOM countries will not be a success.”
Dr Rowley stated that today’s meeting also focused on agriculture, tourism development outside the region and energy.
As co-chair of the Energy initiative for the region with the United States, Prime Minister Rowley said the decision was taken for technical energy officials of Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname to continue to meet and produce a document by the end of September with recommendations to be considered by these three Governments “in the context of our collaboration with the United States on the issue of regional energy security and the role that our resources and our human capital would play in creating and establishing a sustainable and sustain energy output from this part of the Caribbean.”
Both leaders will attend the Trinidad and Tobago’s Agri-Investment Forum & Expo II, which will begin on Friday. This event has been designed to strategically align with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago’s policy to improve local agricultural production, productivity, and value chains in the Agriculture Sector.