President Chandrikapersad Santokhi and Keith Rowle, the prime minister of Trinidad, had a protracted discussion. The Cabinet of the Prime Minister in Port of Spain spoke on bilateral cooperation in general and an energy cooperative in particular on Thursday, July 6, 2023. Participants in the consultations included Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister Stuart Young, who oversees the Energy and Energy Industries portfolio, and Canada’s Minister Albert Ramdin, who oversees Foreign Affairs, International Business, and International Cooperation (BIBIS).
Both heads of government believe that cooperation between the two countries should be intensified. Presentations were given by the General Director of Staatsolie, Annand Jagesar, Director Eddy Fränkel of the Staatsolie Power Company Suriname and Vernon Paltoo, President of the National Energy Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago. The technical presentations have helped government officials of both countries to better understand what the potential energy cooperation should look like. To steer the cooperation, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by both countries. Staatsolie will coordinate the cooperation from Suriname.
President Santokhi is convinced that cooperation with Trinidad and Tobago will have several benefits for Suriname. The Caricom member state is the largest producer of oil and gas in the Caribbean. These natural resources account for about 40% of GDP and 80% of the Caribbean island’s exports. Recent growth has been fueled by investments in liquefied natural gas. The country has undergone a transition from an oil-based to a natural gas-based economy. With a view to developments in the Surinamese oil and gas sector, both countries will exchange expertise. Soon Suriname will host a meeting between Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad where the strategic cooperation between the countries will be given shape.