Suriname’s president calls for speedy, meaningful inter-regional agreements to resolve problems

Suriname’s President, Chandrikapersaud Santokhi has called for speedy and meaningful inter-regional agreements to solve trade issues that exist between the Caribbean countries.

During an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI) on the sidelines of the 46th Regular Meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government of CARICOM, the president said that a stronger alliance should be formed between the countries.

H.E Chandrikapersaud Santokhi

The interview was conducted on Monday at Marriott, Kingston, Georgetown where the conference was held.

According to the Surinamese president, more robust agreements, policies, programmes, and legislation should be put in place between the countries to ensure trade barriers are removed.

“This, however, isn’t happening in all the countries with the same attention and speed. As a consequence, those programmes cannot be implemented integrally. That’s why you see more and more countries are engaged bilaterally. We are engaged with Guyana bilaterally, we are engaged with Barbados bilaterally, Guyana is also engaged with Barbados bilaterally,” the president stated.

As such, he urged Caribbean leaders to foster more than just bilateral relationships with each other and keenly focus on their programmes and policies so as to build a comprehensive system for the free movement of goods and services across each other’s territorial borders.

Acknowledging that his country is ready to tackle those barriers, the head of state noted that it is the government’s mandate to ensure such impediments are removed for the benefit of its people and for both the importation and exportation of the countries.

H.E Chandrikapersaud Santokhi at the 46th Regular Meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government of CARICOM on Monday

“We have done almost all the actions to remove those barriers. There are issues that are still pending for example the double taxation that has not been finalised as yet…All the other issues we have put measures in place by taking actions from the legal perspective and by approving legislation in parliament,” President Santokhi said.

Just last Saturday the GuyanaSuriname Chamber of Commerce (SGCC) was launched in Guyana. This chamber will enhance the capability of each other’s workforce, improve their financial stability, and overall increase the local content of goods and services in each other’s territory. 

Additionally, very soon more barriers will be removed with the agreement of the GuyanaSuriname bridge being built across the Corentyne River. This will see an increased in each other’s goods and services being transported not only between the two countries, but to other Caribbean nations as well.

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