Even as the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago committed to changing its laws to allow the transshipment of Guyana’s honey in its waters, Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture says the process is taking too long.
Guyana is unable to transship honey exports through the twin island republic because of decades-old law that prohibits the movement of the product within one mile of the island’s shores.
In 2015, Trinidad and Tobago fined local shipping company Laparkan US$3,000 for transporting honey in its waters.
The country’s Prime Minister, at a brief press conference on Wednesday, said that he is committed to amending the law, providing that there are no risks to Trinidad and Tobago.
“Once we are satisfied that there are no phytosanitary risks that we should not ignore, we will look at it with an eye to furthering the business of Guyana without risking the biodiversity of Trinidad and Tobago,” he told reporters after an event at State House.
The issue was discussed earlier in the day when Dr Rowley met with a Guyanese delegation headed by President David Granger.
In a brief interview with media operatives, Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder said that Trinidad is “definitely” taking too long amend its laws.
He nonetheless said he is satisfied with the new commitment given by the TT Prime Minister.
This issue with the transshipment of the honey is one of the reasons by the local private sector was cautious of Guyana entering into deals with Trinidad and Tobago.
Junior Vice President of the Georgetown Chamber of Industry and Commerce Timothy Tucker had explained that the business community is not against foreign investments but those countries must also be equally facilitative of Guyanese businesses.