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GY | May 24, 2022

Guyana and Trinidad experimenting on ferry service

/ Our Today

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High-level bilateral commission being established to address trade issues

President of Guyana Irfaan Ali. (Photo: Department of Public Information)

Durrant Pate/Contributor

Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago will soon be experimenting on a ferry service between the two countries to transport people and cargo.

Guyanese President Irfaan Ali made the announcement on the weekend during a press conference hosted at State House in Georgetown, Guyana with Dr Keith Rowley, prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

The establishment of the ferry service is part of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two countries that was signed for co-operation in a number of areas.

Hugh Todd, Guyana’s foreign affairs minister, and Amery Browne, Trinidad and Tobago’s foreign affairs minister, also signed the MOU along with the countries’ two political leaders.

The MOU will remove non-tariff barriers and look into fixing a number of issues that could affect agricultural and agro-processing sectors.

“We cannot address any issues unless we create a platform, the vehicle that will allow us to do that and this MOU does that.”

President of Guyana Irfaan Ali

Ali lauded the MOU’s signing, claiming the two countries “cannot operate together until the platform allows it” when announcing discussions on the Cargo Plus Ferry Facility.

He remarked: “As we speak to you now we are already exploring the possibility of having a cargo plus ferry facility as an experiment between Guyana and Trinidad moving people and goods and services… . We cannot address any issues unless we create a platform, the vehicle that will allow us to do that and this MOU does that.”

MOU SEEN AS A PROJECT

Both foreign ministers were instructed to treat the MOU as a project rather than the typical operation style of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

“This must be addressed differently to be successful,” Ali said.

The signing of this MOU took place as the Agri Investment Forum in Guyana came to a close.

Besides this, the two countries also agreed on cooperation on a number of subjects such as agriculture and food security, security, energy, infrastructure, trade and investment.

STRAINED RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES

The MOU will see the establishment of a high-level bilateral commission and address areas such as non-tariff barriers, which have strained relations between the two countries.

It comes against the backdrop of a major agricultural conference in Guyana and after months of wrangling by government and private sector officials in both countries over trade and prospects in Guyana’s oil and gas sector.

Georgetown and Port of Spain vowed that the MOU will challenge the “current status quo” wherever trade is impeded.

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