Irrespective of calls by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), the Government will not put a halt on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on energy with Trinidad and Tobago.
This was confirmed today with Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge. The politician said that this would be an unchanging position even as it was explained to him that the private sector body is worried about the implications of the MoU.
At a press conference on Wednesday, GCCI’s President, Deodat Indar said that the Chamber is not “anti-T&T” but it needs to see if the agreement will have dire consequences for the private sector.
Indar said, “We have signed MOUs with lots of nations, but in specific ways, ways in which we can learn from them and get a transfer of skills. This Energy Agreement with T&T is different. We don’t know the language in this MOU…I am asking the government to put a hold on it before it hurts the private sector…”
Greenidge however, described Indar’s statements as “total rubbish.” The Foreign Affairs Minister said that TT does not need an MoU to establish itself here. He said that if the TT Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley has announced that the MoU will pave the way for Trinidadian firms to also be successful here, “then nothing is wrong with that”.
The Minister said, “Many TT firms are here without a MoU so I don’t know what they (GCCI) are going on with. This is not the first MoU we are going to sign and before they stand up and start to make allegations that are completely unwarranted, they must look closely at the relations between Guyana and TT.”
Greenidge said that between 1975 and 1992, Guyana could not pay for the oil it was importing but TT opted to carry that burden.
He said, “These jokers that come to start these disruptions between two countries must know their history. If they have a look at it, they will see why it is that we would want to continue cooperation with this country.”
The Foreign Affairs Minister said that Guyana cannot seek to improve its bilateral relations with a nation only when it is doing well. He said, “They are our CARICOM sister and they have rights and those rights do not depend on a MoU.”
On that note, Minister Greenidge stressed that the Government will not put a hold on the signing of the agreement.