These were agreed to by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Guyana’s President Brigadier David Granger who yesterday spoke with the media following their meeting at the San Fernando Teaching Hospital, Chancery Lane, San Fernando.
“We agreed that we will pursue memoranda of understanding in these areas for signing in the near future,” Persad-Bissessar said.
The establishment of a joint commission, she said, was necessary because in the past sporadic meetings have been held between the two countries with no follow through for implementation In terms of agriculture, Granger explained that Guyana, the largest of the Caricom states, would welcome collaboration with TT which has the technology and expertise to boost agriculture to benefit the entire Caricom region.
Barbadian entrepreneurs, he noted, have already set up mega farms in the Rupununi savannahs (the size of Costa Rica) bordering Brazil, and were already exporting rice to northern Brazil.
Looking forward to Trinidadian entrepreneurs investing in Guyana, he said, “It is nothing new. West Indian entrepreneurs are already working in Guyana.” In terms of infrastructure development, he noted that TT has an advantage in engineering technology from which Guyana’s underdeveloped hinterland road network could benefit.
“In order to access, minerals, timber and tourism resources in Guyana,” he said, “we need better infrastructure, and again we are looking to collaborate with TT in engineering.” In the area of energy, he noted that Guyana has over 100 areas which could generate renewable energy.
“We would like to collaborate with TT in those,” he said. In addition, he said TT has an advantage and expertise in petroleum and gas and with the recent oil find in Guyana’s maritime waters, TT can assist. Noting it was early days in terms of agreements in the development of Guyana’s oil sector, Granger said the discussions did not go into details, but the door was open to TT.
Persad-Bissessar noted that TT has over 100 years of expertise in oil and gas and looked forward to working out agreements with Guyana in this area.
Education, one of the main reasons why he was in Trinidad, Granger said, was a priority area to work together.
In terms of business, he said, both TT and Guyana want to see greater linkages between the private sectors in both countries, particularly in the manufacturing sector.
“Guyana is a great producer of raw materials,” he said, “and with a combination of Guyanese resources and the talent and manufacturing capabilities of TT, they could help to put the Caribbean on the world map in term of manufacturing.” “We feel these areas are going to make an important contribution to the integration movement,” Granger said.