The Linden Chamber of Commerce and the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited [NICIL] have agreed to forge ahead with a tactical relationship to further propel Linden as an ultimate destination and major business hub.
This collaboration was birthed after the Linden Chamber of Commerce held a recent meeting with its members to explore investment opportunities. The meeting saw representation from NICIL, in the person of its Chief Executive Office [ag], Mr. Colvin Heath-London, who sought to explore a number of new and creative initiatives geared at enhancing economic development for the township.
At the meeting, Heath-London told the gathering of business personalities that NICIL stands ready to provide the required support and resources to aid the collaborative approach. He told the members that Linden should no longer be seen as a place to merely “pass through” but rather as a “destination” location.
He said that numerous opportunities are available. He urged the Chamber members to recognise that while Government has been making its own strides to develop and enhance the community through the implementation of a number of projects and programmes, it is imperative that they as members of the business community seek ways to boost and fuel economic development.
“I am aware that Government has made some commitment and has already been delivering on some of those commitments but let me state that it’s important that you, the members of the business community, recognise that you can play important roles in developing Linden,” Heath-London said.
The NICIL CEO said that he is amazed by the many possibilities and opportunities that businesses in Linden can explore.
Linden has the significant potential of bringing about major returns economically, he said.
He told the members that they should not take their destination for granted, warning that failure to explore and take advantage of what is available may have negative consequences. “You are blessed with significant resources… among other things, so I urge you to take advantage of these things and not take them for granted as in another five years or so you would better understand what I am saying here today,” he told the Chamber members.
Heath-London gave the commitment that NICIL and the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission will seek to play more meaningful roles as they recognise that they are part of the process.
He moreover went on to urge the business community and those interested to come forward and invest even as he added that NICIL stands ready to assist those who are genuinely interested in investing in the community.
“There are numerous investment opportunities…The economic viability and strength of this community would greatly increase and you the members of the chamber have the opportunity to capitalise on what is happening,” he said.
He also assured that he will seek to create the requisite opportunities needed as NICIL is committed to creating the right atmosphere by putting adequate systems in place.
The NICIL Head noted that while the focus is on the Oil and Gas industry which, he said, will explode with numerous opportunities and returns for the country. As such he urged businesses to devise ways that they too can benefit.
The NICIL CEO said that while Guyana and more so Linden has not sought to explore and exploit the commercial real estate market, he firmly believes that both residential and commercial property value and rates can skyrocket in Linden.
This, he said, will create added opportunities for many. He cautioned persons against myths regarding the real estate industry. “You don’t have to build mansions and big houses, but what many persons who would be coming here are seeking to have is decent but quality accommodation.
People want to know that when they leave wherever they are coming from that they can be able to access the very resources and amenities that they were accessing. Having washing machine, dishwasher, decent bedrooms and bathrooms, among other things, is critically important.
“Remember you don’t have to go expensive or build things that would eventually be seen as being out of reach for many, but just to be consistent in terms of quality and providing the kind of facilities they need would certainly aid your growth and the revenues coming into the community,” he noted.
Heath-London shared optimism that Guyana will see some 200,000 expats coming to Guyana within the next five years, stressing that the boom economically will be significant. He appealed to the Chamber to capitalise on the evident opportunities available even as he told the gathering that there is already an evident and expected impact on the economy from which several persons who have been putting systems in place are benefiting.
He said that apartments, houses, among other accommodation style businesses, are in great demand.
“In Georgetown and on the East Coast, houses that were being rented for approximately US$600 are now being rented for between US$4000 and US$5000 because this is a demand and supply matter.
“I am therefore urging you to look at the apartment, rental markets here in Linden as you are presented with a significantly golden opportunity based on the many advantages that you have,” Heath-London urged.
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