In response to Mariano Browne, former Trinidadian Minister of Trade, that Trinidad and Tobago has been slow to capitalise on Guyana’s oil discoveries, Mr Manniram Prashad, the President of the Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC), who is also a former Trade Minister, would like to bring to his attention that numerous Trinidadian businesses have been engaged in the oil and gas industry.
Guyana and Trinidad have always had excellent trading relations, even before oil was discovered, and it is no different now. Many Trinidadian companies are members of GOGEC, and we maintain excellent relationship with Exxon and the Government.
As a member of Caricom, Guyana recognises the Treaty of Chaguaramas in all trade- related matters even though some of the countries in Caricom do not reciprocate as they should. Guyana is one of the few countries in the world where foreigners establishing business are treated equally with Guyanese. In some cases, even better.
The experience and expertise of Trinidadians in the oil and gas sector is well recognized, as, only recently, we had two of their nationals – former Minister of Energy, Kevin Ramnarine, and Oil Expert Dr. Anthony Paul – serving as members of the Local Content Panel established by President Irfaan Ali.
Guyanese must always remember that Trinidadians opened their doors to us when we went through a very difficult period, and we must not forget that as we welcome their knowledge and expertise in the oil and gas sector.
Guyanese hospitality is among the best in the world, and our kindness must not be taken for weakness. We have a strong and vibrant Private Sector, supported by the Government. Our oil and gas industry must benefit all Guyanese, especially the poor and vulnerable.
We urge and suggest joint ventures and partnership agreements with Guyanese businesses. While we await the release of the Local Content Policy, we hope that Guyana and Guyanese businesses are well protected.
GOGEC will continue to be vigilant, and no one from outside or inside Guyana will be allowed to deprive Guyanese of their patrimony.
Guyana Oil and Gas