PM Golding Calls For Establishment of Team to Explore Trading Opportunities Among Petrocaribe Members


Prime Minister Hon Bruce Golding, has proposed the establishment of a team to explore trading opportunities among member countries of PetroCaribe. He has proposed that this team further explores transportation arrangements that would be necessary to support the level of trading opportunities being considered.
Addressing today’s (Dec 21) working session of the fourth PetroCaribe Summit now underway in Cienfuegos, Cuba, the Prime Minister said he was pleased to see how the group is putting emphasis on expanding the opportunities for trade among member countries of Petrocaribe . He said this was another important area where ‘we can build co-operation and create areas of mutual benefit ‘. But he said there is an area of challenge which is the question of the transportation of goods among member countries as we do not have cost effective means of transportation.
Against this background, Mr Golding has proposed the establishment of a team to explore opportunities for trading among the countries of the region. Mr Golding told this morning’s session of the Summit that while it may be important for member countries of PetroCaribe to expand their co-operation beyond the question of energy, there is also the need to look at what is happening now not just in terms of the movement in oil prices but what is happening with the movement in commodity prices.
Mr Golding told the delegates that it goes beyond just the question of oil prices because it impacts significantly on the economies of the region. Mr Golding noted that just recently Caricom ‘Heads of government had to get together to look at the implications of price increases and the threat that these increases could impose in destabilizing the economies of the region. He said it may be useful, with the kind of umbrella organization that Petrocaribe is, to look at this because it could undermine much of the effort member countries are making to use this agreement to stimulate economic growth. Mr Golding said it may also be useful to see if there is some joint initiative that could come out of Petrocaribe to help countries to address this concern.
The PetroCaribe Agreement represents the strengthening of relations between Venezuela and the countries of the Caribbean by providing significant support to the petroleum industry in the face of rising oil prices. The summit ends later today with opening of the Camilo Cienfuegos Refinery. Prime Minister Golding will return to the island this evening.

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