A Barbadian team, including the Minister of Housing, Land and Maintenance Dr. William Duguid, is in Guyana on a three-day mission exploring investment opportunities.
On Saturday, the team received an exchange and familiarisation session by the Ministry of Housing and Water-Central Housing and Planning Authority, at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre.
According to a release from the Housing Ministry, this engagement provided a platform for the sharing of information on the operations of the housing sectors in both countries.
Importantly, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) Sherwyn Greaves spoke about the functions, roles and programmes of the agency in meeting the demand for housing and the need for parallel infrastructure development across the country.
There, Dr. Duguid lauded the Housing Ministry and the government for the comprehensive housing policies and said the Barbadian government stands ready and committed to working with the local Housing Authority in the housing and construction sectors, as both Heads of State share similar visions for growth and development.
Dr. Duguid further lauded Guyana’s Government on the Mortgage Interest Relief Programme and the Young Professional Housing initiative stating that they are both impressive.
For context, this visit follows an engagement between President Dr. Irfaan Ali and the Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley.
Importantly, the Barbadian Minister called for more publicity on the investment opportunity and more platforms for exchanges in skills and knowledge in the construction sectors. The News Room has been reliably informed that there is high interest from Barbados in some local sectors.
In response, Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal extended an invitation for investments, nothing that Guyana holds huge potential, as it seeks to expand its housing drive. Mention was also made of the strides being made with the ongoing process for the Single Window Processing System and the change in legislation for the Condominium Act.
Minister Croal noted that the Single Window Processing System will pave the way for ease of access for investors coming to Guyana.
“All the measures and programmes being implemented in our housing policy ties into President Irfaan Ali’s vision to improve the quality of life for all Guyanese…our social programs like the housing programmes cater to all,” Croal was quoted as saying.
The minister also emphasised that Guyana is on the cusp of rapid development. This is evidenced by the 14.5 per cent growth recorded in the overall country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within the first half of 2021,
He noted too, “While there continues to be growth in the overall GDP of our country, the construction sector and all other sector is seeing growth.
“In the first half of 2021 we have seen a 25% growth in the construction sector; that in itself is testimony of the work in the housing sector”.
Similarly, the Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water Susan Rodrigues emphasised that Guyana is one of the most rapidly growing economies in the world and the most attractive destination for investment.
According to the release, Minister Rodrigues posited Guyana now has a government that demonstrates the capacity and commitment to transform the economy and to improve the lives of ordinary citizens.
“We have already allocated close to 10,000 lots in our first year, thereby demonstrating the capacity to deliver on all of our commitments in the housing sector, our focus has been on homeownership and providing Guyanese with the opportunities to access financing to construct their own homes,” she noted.
The Barbados Housing and Investment Mission arrived in Guyana on Friday and included Permanent Secretary Timothy Maynard, Senior Housing Planner Kelly Hunte, General Manager of the National Housing Cooperation Ian Gill and Chief Technical Officer Ian Foster.
A team from the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation including the CEO Mark Hill, Manager of Bio-economy Paul Waithe, Director of Quality Marina Taitt, Director of Quality (Guyana) Sharon Walton also forms part of the delegation.