By Kiana Wilburg
The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) can make all the appeals it wants. The Government of Guyana will not put a halt on signing a crucial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on energy with Trinidad and Tobago come next week.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge made this pellucid during his interview with Kaieteur News. Yesterday afternoon, Greenidge was informed of the concerns of the Chamber.
At an “emergency” press conference on Wednesday, GCCI’s President, Deodat Indar said that the Chamber wants to see the MoU to ascertain if there would be dire consequences for the private sector. The businessman said that the Chamber is not against investments from Trinidad and Tobago. He stressed, however, that the MoU, depending on the arrangements in it, could open the floodgates, leaving Guyanese businesses without an iota of protection in the oil and gas market. This was followed up by a call to make the document public.
Dismissing these concerns, Greenidge said that TT does not need a MoU to establish itself here. He said, too, that if the TT Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley has announced that the MoU will pave the way for Trinidadian firms to also be successful here, “then nothing is wrong with that.”
The Minister said, “Many TT firms are here without a MoU so I don’t know what they (GCCI) are going on with. This is not the first
MoU we are going to sign and before they stand up and start to make allegations that are completely unwarranted, they must look closely at the relations between Guyana and TT.”
In this regard, Greenidge said that between 1975 and 1992, Guyana could not pay for the oil it was importing but TT opted to carry that burden.
The Foreign Affairs Minister said that Guyana cannot seek to improve its bilateral relations with a nation only when it is doing well. He said, “They are our CARICOM sister and they have rights and those rights do not depend on a MoU.”
On that note, Minister Greenidge stressed that the Government will not put a hold on the signing of the agreement.
Trinidad’s Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley is expected to be in Guyana next week to sign the document.
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