GEORGETOWN, Guyana (DPI) — President David Granger has announced that Guyana will soon sign a framework agreement for economic cooperation with Barbados. The announcement came 24 hours after a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago for energy cooperation.
The president, speaking at the opening of the inaugural, Guyana Trade and Investment Exhibition (GuyTIE), indicated that the decision was taken following attendance at the ninth meeting of the prime ministerial sub-committee of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) in Barbados earlier this month.
“We see Guyana’s future in the Caribbean and we see the Caribbean’s future in Guyana,” the president stated while highlighting the Caribbean as an important common market amidst trade wars and Brexit.
The combined land space of the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is almost equivalent to that of Sweden. Granger pointed out that this has the potential for increased intra-regional trade.
Intra-regional exports, at the end of 2014, stood at a 13.1 percent of total regional exports of US$22.3 billion, he noted. The region’s estimated US$4.5 billion annual food import bill could be slashed, he said.
However, he noted that there is a need for intensified collaboration between local, regional and international firms to grasp opportunities, which can provide a platform for global market penetration.
“Guyana’s economic development has been constrained, historically, by the small size of its population, small domestic markets and the small range and volume of primary commodity exports. These have made its economy highly vulnerable to exogenous economic shocks,” the president noted.
He touted the CSME as the way to build more resilient economies, not only in the Caribbean but also locally.
Reference was made to the CSME’s long-term aim of creating a single economic space with an enlarged market producing globally competitive goods and services.
The president committed that Guyana will continue to pursue regional economic cooperation in order to build greater prosperity and global competitiveness.