GMSA talks local content in housing and construction sector with Minister Croal 

Construction workers carrying out work on one of the elevated housing units.

The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) on Tuesday held a virtual meeting with officials from the Ministry of Housing and Water to discuss a number of issues relating to the housing and construction industries.

The Ministry’s delegation was led by subject Minister Collin Croal and included Permanent Secretary, Mr. Andre Ally, and Chief Executive Operator, Mr. Sherwyn Greaves. The GMSA was represented by President of the Association, Mr. Rafeek Khan and Executive Member, Mr. Shyam Nokta.

Minister Croal apprised the meeting of the extensive housing initiative being undertaken by the Ministry and discussed the importance of collaborating with all stakeholders in the continued development of sustainable housing. With the concurrence of the GMSA delegation, a Joint Working Group was therefore established between the Ministry and the Association.

One of the main matters raised at the meeting was Local Content Requirement for housing and construction. It was mentioned that it is critical for Government to protect and expand domestic industries by purchasing materials from local companies and encouraging manufacturing of such products.

Mr. Khan fervently spoke about pricing, quality and procurement of construction materials and services related to the sector. He stated that price should not be the only determining factor in the award of contracts for housing as low pricing could lead to the compromise of quality and import of substandard products. Mr. Khan further noted that timber manufacturing companies which place high emphasis on quality, are unable to compete in the local industry, which automatically prevents them from the benefits of local content.

Minister Croal noted that the initial requirements for housing contracts were intended to promote the affordable housing drive and satisfy the major demand for housing. He stated that, eventually there is expected to be a roll-out of a segment of housing that will require more utilization of timber components.

“Several of our companies within the GMSA are prepared to deliver homes and construction materials at the highest quality and standards manufactured right here in Guyana,” said Mr. Khan. The GMSA looks forward to working closely with the Ministry of Housing and Water in the development of housing and further utilization of local materials.