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Trade Agreement In Guyana

October 12, 2021

During my work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Department of Foreign Trade, I participated in the development of Guyana`s regional and multilateral trade agenda. the department is the lead agency for trade negotiations; The implementation of trade agreements is largely carried out by other ministries and agencies. Although the five-year review report of the CARIFORUM/EU EPA (2008-2013) indicated that progress in the implementation of the EPA was limited in cariforum countries, Guyana was one of the few countries on the right track in most areas. Guyana hopes to attract foreign direct investment with the EPO, notably through trade in services and tourism. The country is striving to increase exports of services to the EU, especially cultural and entertainment services – Guyana has unique products in these sectors. The country is also exploring options for diversifying trade by developing new products; Traditionally, sugar was the country`s most important export to the EU market. Guyana`s main trading partners are the United States, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, the United Arab Emirates, China, Ukraine, Suriname and Japan. The government`s openness to foreign investment is above average. Guyana has concluded trade agreements with the European Community, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. The WTO member country since 1995 has low tariffs (the average applied tariff rate is 6.7%) and moderate non-tariff barriers. In addition, goods from CARICOM are exempt from customs duties. However, some products, such as agricultural products, alcohol and tobacco, are subject to high customs duties (up to 100%). The banking sector remains inefficient and the financial regulatory framework is poor.

High borrowing costs and limited access to finance remain barriers to more dynamic trade. The discovery of oil in Guyana — an average crude closer to the Middle East than American varieties — promises wealth, but often poses challenges to new oil states: corruption and nepotism. According to the latest available data, imports of goods reached $1.8 billion in 2018, while exports amounted to $1.3 billion. As a result, the country recorded a trade deficit of $US 618 million during the same period. Guyana`s systemic trade deficit is mainly due to the country`s weak exports of its immense natural resources and its dependence on imports of fuel, industrial products and machinery. Edmund Kalekyezi, Regional Trade Advisor, has been assisting the Guyanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in business development since 2006. Read her blog below: UNCTAD`s work programme on international investment agreements (IIAs) actively supports policymakers, government officials and other IIA interest groups in reforming IAs to make them more conducive to sustainable development and inclusive growth. . . .


Shez