Gov’t has supported tariff-free items for Haiti

-foreign minister tells delegation

Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett told a delegation of Haitian journalists that government has continuously taken steps to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries including supporting 64 of 65 tariff-free items.

The visit from the Haitian delegation followed a similar one to Barbados, where the team met with officials from the CARICOM Single Market and Economy unit, a press release from GINA said. It added that the team paid a courtesy call at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in keeping with their aim to learn more about Guyana, CARICOM and Haiti’s involvement in the Community.

Rodrigues-Birkett said that, among other measures, government has waived visas for some categories of Haitians to travel here. “The CSME provides for free movement for certain categories of people and countries… we have abolished visas for diplomats, business persons, persons holding service passports and persons that are holders of United States, United Kingdom and Canadian visas…we have also put a system in place where visas can be obtained upon arrival in Guyana for persons who are outside the categories mentioned,” she explained. In addition, Guyana has supported 64 of 65 tariff-free items on the list Haiti had submitted, with COTED already approving the implementation of 42.

In response to a query about government’s relations with the press, Rodrigues-Birkett said the media is “an extremely important part of the democratic process and we have to at all times defend their rights, we might not like everything they say but we do defend their rights…these rights however come with responsibilities… the media has to be responsible so there are times when we would not like the media because they say something wrong and it is printed on the front page, and an apology is later followed in a tiny corner at the back page.”