Guyana signs trade agreement with Belize

Guyana is poised to tap into Central American markets after signing a trade  memorandum with Belize.

GINA said that Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge and his Belizean counterpart, Wilfred Elrington signed the agreement at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown during CARI-COM’s 37th Regular Heads of Government Conference.

The trade, education and agriculture agreement formalises long standing bilateral ties between the two CARICOM countries.

Greenidge, after the signing of the agreements at the conference, said that Guyana stand to benefit significantly in a lot of sectors. The country, he added, is looking forward, particularly to joint projects, “So we can engage in joint production, we can take advantage of marketing, whether it’s in tourism or services. We can take advantage of different labour costs all of those things,” Greenidge said.

Guyana Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge (left) exchanges a signed agreement on trade and other matters with Belize Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington (GINA photo)
Guyana Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge (left) exchanges a signed agreement on trade and other matters with Belize Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington (GINA photo)

Through this arrangement, Guyana will have the opportunity to tap into Central American markets. Belize is a member of the Central American Immigration Movement. “If you’re doing business in Belize…goods that are produced can also be sold in those markets,” Elrington pointed out.

The Belizean Foreign Affairs Minister pointed out that their neighbours, namely Mexico and Guatemala provide larger, readily available markets for products that come out of the agreement. “Production between Belize and Guyana can have ready markets into Central America, as well with preferential treatment,” Elrington noted.

Elrington said he is looking forward to the expansion of education opportunities between the two countries. Elrington noted that a significant number of Belizeans currently study in Guyana, and he would like to see a similar reflection in Belize.

Elrington is also looking to Guyana to “learn a great deal” about the protection of indigenous people. “You have very modern legislation relating to the indigenous population. We are having problems now with our indigenous populations in terms of regularising their status and entitlement,” Elrington explained.

The agreement will see the establishment of a joint commission that is mandated with ensuring the agreement is carried out as stated. The agreement is wide-ranging and will also seek to establish cooperation between the two countries in the areas of tourism, energy, marine affairs, sports, and security.

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