Regional trade barriers can be withdrawn quickly—President Ali

President of Guyana, His Excellency Mohamed Irfaan Ali (Photo via Office of the President)

… We have to wrap ourselves around a common objective to see our operating space as one and remove those barriers that have kept back the food production system. And those barriers have been nothing but a hindrance to our countries in the region. If we are not prepared to do this—then we are not serious.”

President Irfaan Ali

(Office of the President Press Release) His Excellency Dr. Irfaan Ali said that a number of imposed barriers to regional trade can be withdrawn in a short space of time if capacity building and trading opportunities are prioritised.

The President delivered an enthralling address at the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) President’s Dinner and Award Ceremony on Tuesday evening, where he lobbied for members and stakeholders of the CARICOM region to see their economic operating space as one.

Manufactured goods, he noted, are being imported seven times more than it is being exported, despite there being countries in the region with abundant natural resources and energy costs that are on par with developed nations.

“We cannot move forward reasonably as a people; we cannot move forward reasonably as a collective if we are not willing to act in a selfless manner.  The opportunities will slip by… I have the barriers by country, I have the impediments to trade by country for exports and imports and some of this is nonsensical. Some of these barriers that are imposed can be withdrawn overnight if you are serious about building capacity and opening up opportunities.”

President Ali, who focused on intra-regional food trade, also highlighted the glaring disparity in the import and export of food regionally and again lobbied for more to be done to lessen the importation bills.

Read more at: Office of the President of Guyana

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