Guyana is looking to move beyond the new rice agreement in terms of trade relations with neighbouring Venezuela.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett in a recent comment said that while the rice agreement is working well, the Government would be exploring the possibility of exporting other local products to the Spanish-speaking State.
Speaking about the impending State visit of newly elected Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro later this month, Minister Rodrigues-Birkett said that, “Venezuela has been a very good friend to Guyana and this visit will strengthen those relations.”
This will be Maduro’s first official visit to Guyana in his capacity as President. It will allow him and President Donald Ramotar to discuss not only bilateral issues, but regional issues and international issues as well.
Among some of the bilateral issues that will be discussed include Guyana’s associate membership with MERCUSOR, of which Venezuela is the latest full member.
Additionally, discussions are also expected to be held on the Petro Caribe deal. The Foreign Affairs Minister said despite media reports, Venezuela has given no indication thus far, of any changes with regards to Petro Caribe.
However, she stated that this is an appropriate time for Guyana and other members of Petro Caribe to review and take stock of what has been happening.
“Guyana has been adhering to the Petro Caribe arrangement, more than many others I think… we have been supplying rice and we have been receiving oil, so in a way we have been repaying our debts,” Minister Rodrigues-Birkett said.