Don’t play the nation card.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley issued that caution to Barbadians on Saturday in the wake of the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Trinidad and Tobago for energy development.
In defending her decision, Mottley said Trinidad and Tobago has more than a century’s experience in oil and gas production, and if Barbados tried to monetize hydrocarbons on its own it could take decades.
Furthermore, she said this may not be “the most appropriate model of development”.
“The nation card is irrelevant in this consideration because we are simply too small to matter in the context of energy resources as a country even though for us, it can bring significant benefits given what we can access in the blocks that we have,” she said.
While Barbados is 166 square miles, its maritime jurisdiction is approximately 400 times that size.
“This is about securing the future of our two nations,” Mottley stressed, adding “the future looks bright”.
“We, therefore, as a government felt that in order for us to move and to secure our future in Barbados and to move us to the next stage that there was sense in cooperation and that the distance between where Barbados is and where we need to go to monetize what we have is so long that if we did it on our own, it would probably take decades,” she said.
“If we work cooperatively with our brothers and sisters in Trinidad as we have been doing in the energy sector for almost 40 years, we can continue to work in a way that allows Trinidad and Tobago to get the widest economies of scale that it can possibly get for its industrial complex but at the same time allowing us to monetize what we have.”
As it relates to the MOU, she said its only binding feature relates to the confidentiality of the data. (CW)