Sep 24, 2018 News
The recently signed Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU), between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, (T&T), provides a golden opportunity for the two countries to strengthen their bilateral ties and enhance cooperation.
This is a position shared by many local observers and commentators, who believe that the occasion provides the correct platform for the Twin Island Republic to relax its restriction on trade for Guyanese exports.
Guyanese traders have been facing a number of blockages to getting their products into Trinidad’s markets, despite CARICOM treaties between the two countries.
However, local commentators like Attorney -at-law Ralph Ramkarran, S.C have noted with the new agreement, which offers T&T opportunities for wide scope in the Guyana‘s oil and gas sector, the government must ensure that adequate systems are in place for Guyanese to also benefit equally under the arrangement.
Sharing his views on the blog site, Conversation Tree, Ramkarran highlighted scenarios, where Guyanese faced trade and other restrictions with Trinidad.
However, with opportunities now opening up due to Guyana’s advantageous position, Ramkarran noted that efforts should be geared towards ensuring Trinidad removes these artificial barriers.
According to Ramkarran with adequate measures, such as local content regulations in place, Trinidad and Tobago’s business people have garnered much prosperity during their oil years.
He said that if Guyana follows the model set by Trinidad, Guyanese can yield similar benefits.
Ramkarran stressed that “any local content laws which may be implemented, as much as Trinidad and Tobago has, will enable business people to flourish during the oil years.”
The lawyer said too that adequate regulations will help Guyanese benefit from Trinidad and Tobago’s vast capacity and expertise in the oil and gas sector.
Ramkarran joins a list of other personalities that have called on government to ensure that the agreement between the two countries sets the stage for Guyanese to prosper.
In a statement to the media, President of the Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC), Maniram Prashad noted that Guyanese, and the Government by extension, should be taking the opportunity to make use of Trinidad and Tobago’s 100 years of oil and gas experience and expertise.
“Trinidad has tremendous experience and expertise in the oil and gas industry and we should make use of that. The MoU sets out the framework for co-operation and collaboration between the two countries to work with each other…”
“I am in support of Trinidadian companies investing in Guyana as they have been doing so over the years…”
He added, “Guyana has benefited significantly from debt write-offs from Trinidad and their favourable petroleum dealings.”
However, even as Guyana pursues a symbiotic relationship with Trinidad in the oil sector, Prashad also noted the need for greater focus on agriculture and trade related issues which over the years, have worked against Guyanese exporters.
He insisted that Guyana must confront these issues with Trinidad. Once this is done, Prashad said that he would urge all private sector bodies in Guyana to collaborate with GOGEC and explore joint ventures with the Trinidadian Private Sector.
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