File photo: TTMA president Tricia Coosal.
THE Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) believes the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between TT and Guyana will be the catalyst for free trade and an improved single market.
In a media release on Monday, TTMA president Tricia Coosal said the agreement solidified existing trade relationships between the two countries.
She said, “The TTMA endorses the collaboration between the two governments and commends the heads of state on their foresight in the signing of the MOU, which includes, inter alia, the areas of trade and investment, agriculture and food security, security, energy and infrastructure.
“The MOU will serve as a catalyst for the promotion of free trade within Caricom, while at the same time promote the deepening of the CSME (Caribbean Single Market and Economy) process, allowing the tenets of true integration among a group of countries to be solidified as was envisioned by the framers of the CSME process.”
Coosal said the MOU came against the backdrop of the TTMA’s recent and third trade mission to Guyana within the last two years.
She added that the MOU brought alive a point made by Guyana’s President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, at the TTMA’s president’s dinner and awards last year on the importance of Caricom and the CSME working on resolving trade issues among member states, for the free flow of goods and services.
“TTMA believes the continued relationship between both governments is promising as we seek to resolve trade barriers, which are known to curtail the development and progress of countries. As an organisation, TTMA shares an amicable working relationship with our counterpart, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA). In fact, the TTMA is in the process of finalising our own MOU with the GMSA, which will seek the mutual benefit of the manufacturing sectors of both countries as it relates to trade.”
Bilateral and inter-ministeral collaboration were critical, Coosal added, for the co-ordination and execution of policies.
“TTMA notes the collaboration between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Foreign and Caricom Affairs. Their efforts cannot be understated in moving bilateral relations forward and would have played significant roles in the realisation of the signing of the MOU.
“The Ministry of Foreign and Caricom Affairs will be integral to the co-ordination of the commission, which will be an effective tool for co-operation and collaboration between both countries in the execution of the MOU and the association looks forward to the fast-tracking of this important tool to give effect to the functionality of the MOU.”
On Sunday, TT and Guyana signed an agreement on renewed and enhanced co-operation which sought to address trade and investment, including non-tariff barriers, agriculture and food security, energy, infrastructure, security, education, tourism, sports and culture; with the aim of developing strategic co-operation and parentships for both countries
The MOU came after the conclusion of a three-day Agri Investment Fourm in Guyana from May 19- 21. Oversight of the execution of the MOU will fall under a newly established bilateral commission which comprises both the private and public sectors.