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T&T’s Keith Rowley tells Caricom leaders to do away with the narrow interests at Agri Forum



Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, Dr Keith Rowley is urging Caricom leaders to abandon “status quo” and truly embrace the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).


Trinidad’s Prime is here as the chief representative for his country at the inaugural Agri Investment Forum and Expo.


“Unless we accept Caricom as a proper Single Market and Economy a lot of these objectives will not be realised. We cannot as a small economy, fighting against the winds that buffeting us as they did so poignantly during covid-19 worse days, to still be operating on the basis of you versus me and mine versus yours.”


“Let us remember that amongst us there will be responses that are saying we prefer to protect the status quo of the narrow existing interests as against going what has to be done to broaden it for the interest of the wider Caricom people.”


Mr Rowley, who was also tasked with speaking on investments, called for a single company register within the Caricom bloc. This initiative he says would encourage entrepreneurial recognition under law and remove impediments.


However, beyond this he says, is the need for a proper business model to guide the efficient use of the Region’s resources.


“Increased production without proper transportation, proper storage, and of course agro-processing to ensure that the word glut doesn’t become part of the vocabulary requires a proper business model.”


To this end he says “Trinidad and Tobago is in a position to develop a model with the potential in Guyana and the potential in Caricom to have us use energy, use expertise, use our universities to put us in a position to do what has to be done.”


Mr Rowley arrived in Guyana on Tuesday days ahead of the official opening of the two day forum. While here the Prime Minister and team have held talks with President Irfaan Ali and other officials with the aim of ironing out trade and cooperation matters that affect both countries.


Earlier today, Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud indicated via Facebook post that “engagements with Trinidad and Tobago on the issue of non-tariff barriers and other matters have been frank and cordial, and with a view to achieving results in the interest of our respective populations and stakeholders on both sides.”





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