Guyana, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago finalising technical assessment for start of regional ferry service

Guyana, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago finalising technical assessment for start of regional ferry service

The technical assessment for the effective implementation, and utilization of the regional ferry service that is being undertaken by Guyana, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago, is expected to be completed within the coming days.

On the sidelines of the Private Sector Commission’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, the President told reporters that the assessment is in its final stage, and will provide the three countries with an in-depth analysis of the existing gaps, and the changes required at the various ports to allow for effective implementation. 

The assessment will cover a number of important areas such as plant quarantine, immigration and customs for the movement of people and foods for trade. 

“That is going to give us an update on all of the technical issues that is outstanding, a gap analysis on the phytosanitary issues, the trade issues, the integration of the customs, immigration. So, we will have a full assessment, I would say in a week time and that assessment will be shared,” President Ali said. 

In Guyana, the Parika Stelling has been identified as the port to be utilized for the regional ferry service, and according to President Ali, his Administration stands ready to make the necessary investment. 

President Irfaan Ali

“So, Parika Stelling, as you know, evolved into many different things. First, it was a passenger stelling, then it evolved into a farmers’ kind of market, a wholesale depot, and then with the type of development that is taking place in Essequibo, in Bartica, it became a very important transport and logistics hub, so over the years we have built out, we have improved, we have strengthened but I think the time has come for us to have a more holistic planning of Parika and what the stelling and that whole water front area would entail, especially, when you are talking about agro-processing, cold storage, farmers market, wholesale market, transport and logistics and the opening up of the islands also with tourism,” President Ali said. 

He said the Government is fully committed to the project, which will lend to the expansion of the regional market. 

The regional ferry service is expected to improve intra-regional transportation, and is also being seen as an important move to achieving CARICOM’s goal of food security through increased trade of local produce.

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