By Sueann Wickham
A ferry service between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago could provide major relief to logistics challenges faced by both countries, says Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud. The official made this and other remarks during a recent interview with Guyana Standard.
Persaud acknowledged that a ferry service between the two countries would facilitate easy transportation of goods and may even be a cheaper option for travel between Guyana and the twin island. This he said would see citizens who cannot afford airfares being provided with an alternative.
But this would not be the first acknowledgement of the benefits of a ferry service between the two countries. In fact, last May, during a joint press conference with Trinidad’s Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, President Irfaan Ali announced that the government is seeking to explore a ferry service as an experiment to transport people, goods and services.
During his five-day visit to Guyana, Rowley had met with President Ali to engage in dialogues on agriculture, energy and national security. But, an issue that took prominence was the existing trade barriers against Guyana. Following the discussions, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to address the trade and other key areas was signed and it was later announced that the ferry service is being explored under the MoU.
While relaying that the government is having continuous engagement on establishing the ferry service, Persaud expressed that there are critical factors to consider. These include the participation of multilateral financial agencies and the role of the private sector.
He concluded by noting that “you have to look at feasibility, you have to look at investment and so forth that’s required. So work has started and, it has also been a priority in terms of the discussions that are taking place.”