GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Sept 26, CMC – Guyana has given a good report to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that recently conducted a review of its trade policy, Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge has said.
The Third trade policy review was held earlier this month and Greenidge said that the review resulted in discussions primarily on the treatment of public corporations as it pertains to procurement and subsidies along with the environmental tax.
He said based on the reports and updates given, the WTO seems satisfied and has asked Guyana to honour its obligations which are mainly the reporting on issues and ensuring that the commitments it made are honoured.
Guyana reported that since the new administration took office the legislation regarding the imposition of the Environmental tax was repealed.
The WTO also heard that public corporations such as the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) while it receives subventions from the government, the subventions are made within the context of international trade law, therefore it is not a grant given to the company so that it can produce sugar at a high cost to sell for a much lower cost.
The review body was also informed that Guyana has enacted new pieces of legislation that have incorporated suggestions and comments from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force. The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Act of 2015, took into account the recommendations of CFATF.
“We told them we are aware of Guyana’s sliding position in relation to competitiveness, the World Bank’s global index of competitiveness which ranks Guyana extremely poor. We explained to them that we are doing our best to try and ensure that the points raised in those discussions could be dealt with,” Greenidge said.
He added that Guyana will notify the WTO of measures that have been taken which have implications for trade, and those measures that perhaps conflict with its obligations temporarily and what Guyana proposes to do about them.
Georgetown has given an undertaken to submit a report by the end of this month.
Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreement in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. All WTO members are subject to review, with the frequency of review depending on the country’s size.