The president was responding to speculations surrounding the State Visit by Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Keith Rowley and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on energy cooperation. He said there is nothing in the agreement that seeks to harm any of the two states.
President Granger clarified that “it is no sell-out, there were some unjustified fears that Guyana is giving away the family jewels, that can’t be true. It is simply a means of collaborating. Trinidad is bringing years of experience not only in production but also in marketing, gas, oil spills, in dealing with multinational corporations.”
While echoing similar sentiments, Prime Minister Rowley said the MOU is simply a document to motivate the two sides to collaborate in areas of mutual benefit.
Prime Minister Rowley expressed disappointment at the suggestion of a “take-over” of Guyana’s fortunes by his country. “We are working towards ensuring that we as a people, not just as a people of Trinidad and Tobago, but as a people of CARICOM… Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, do better for all ourselves and to come up against that is disappointing,” he said.
As long as the two countries enjoy friendly relations, PM Rowley said, investments from Guyana would be welcomed, likewise, his country remains open to investing in Guyana.
He added that “my disappointment is not driven by any intention to school anybody or to reproach anybody.” President Granger reminded that the two countries shared relations, spanning decades in both strategic and economic terms.
In the meantime, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was today signed between Guyana and Trinidad for cooperation in the energy sector.
The MOU was signed at State House between President David Granger and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Keith Rowley.
President Granger said the signing of the MOU represents a step forward for the two countries which have enjoyed fruitful relations for many years.
Apart from energy cooperation, the president said discussions extended to the areas of Agriculture, Youth, Sport, Security and other fields.
“We expect that as a result of this engagement the relation between our two republics will become stronger. We see ourselves as a foundation for the Caribbean Community, what we are doing is strengthening the Caribbean,” President Granger said.
He described today’s meeting as a reassertion of Guyana’s Caribbean identity, noting that there is much to be learnt from Trinidad and Tobago, which is one of the most developed countries in the Caribbean, in terms of manufacturing, export, education and standard of living.
“Guyana is an arduous CARICOM state, we have abundant raw materials, natural resources (gold, diamonds, timber, manganese, bauxite) …we are confident that by collaborating we will be able to combine the natural resources of Guyana with the entrepreneurial expertise, capital and investment from Trinidad and Tobago,” the president explained.
Prime Minister Rowley, echoing similar sentiments, said today’s meeting represents the documentation of the two countries to do more in terms of neighbourly relations for the economic benefit of both sides.
He pointed to the role of the two governments in laying the groundwork for the private sector to seize opportunities available to both countries. Guyana and Trinidad, the Prime Minister said, have too many commonalities and history to be held back by bureaucratic impediments.
“We also mentioned, if not discussed in detail the existence of invisible borders in our endeavours and where we should not acknowledge the existence of borders, but to let our effort identify the resources available in each of our countries and to put those resources… to work so as to grow the economy of Guyana and of Trinidad and Tobago,” Prime Minister Rowley noted.
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