CARICOM could benefit from Guyana’s oil wealth, but trade barriers must be removed says President Ali
GEORGETOWN, June 8, 2021 - Guyana’s President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali says the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) could benefit from Guyana’s oil and gas sector if countries remove their barriers to trade which have historically targeted Guyana.
The President made this statement on Saturday, as he spoke at the launch ceremony of Saipem’s offshore construction facility.
“We are in this together. A better Guyana is a better CARICOM. A better CARICOM is a better world,” President Ali said.
He stressed that Guyana always took its regional responsibility seriously and noted that in April, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves in April dubbed Guyana “the head cornerstone of CARICOM,” when the country provided aid to his nation in the wake of the La Soufriere volcano eruption.
Guyana is willing to support the rest of the Region, President Ali said, “at the same time, the Region must help us to grow.
Just as enthusiastic as the private sector, for example, in Trinidad, is to invest in Guyana, I want them to be enthusiastic in the same way to remove the barriers in Trinidad for our trade, and our agricultural produce to enter the market.”
He said the Government is the private sector’s partner, but things must be done in a way that would transform the lives of Guyanese.
Further, Dr. Ali said if CARICOM had more resources, it would have been able to fully vaccinate the Region much faster. CARICOM has been lagging in its vaccination because of its dependence on the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative.
In February, CARICOM complained about the inequitable access to vaccines for smaller, developing nations, as richer nations had taken the lion’s share of the supply. In the meantime, Guyana has been securing vaccines through other means.