Industrial estates to be on equal footing
-- Industry Minister
Guyana Chronicle
July 25, 2002

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MINISTER of Trade, Tourism and Industry, Mr. Manzoor Nadir has announced that all industrial estates will be on an "equal footing" with the issuance of 99-year leases to investors.

The minister made this disclosure on the Government Information Agency (GINA) television programme `Answers' last Thursday.

Nadir pointed out that in principle a common lease would be handed over to all investors at Eccles, Coldingen, Anna Regina, Lethem and New Amsterdam.

"What we have accomplished in the industry and industrial estates is to bring a common lease in principle...we have completed the legal process and are now putting all estates on the same footing," the minister explained, adding that the Government holding company, National Industrial Investment Limited can issue long-term leases.

Referring to the Coldingen Industrial Estate, East Coast Demerara, the minister described it as the "Cadillac" of industrial estates in Guyana.

"We are about to close off at Coldingen at this stage...It is now the Cadillac of industrial estates in Guyana," Nadir said.

He explained that the land at Coldingen was previously leased to the State for 30 years, thereby allowing a lease for up to 25 years.

However, now that all legal documents have been processed, investors have been granted a 99-year lease under the terms and conditions of the Eccles site, East Bank Demerara.

According to the minister, all necessary infrastructure has been put in place at the industrial site, including concrete drains, proper roads, an independent water supply system and adequate fencing with a gate.

Some of the main business establishments located at Coldingen are Denmor Garment Factory, Demerara Ice Factory and SOCOCO, a coconut milk processing plant.

Nadir said that at the Eccles site there is a 40 per cent occupancy by established businesses.

He also noted that additional lands are being cleared and another 25 per cent of investors have begun to put down structures.

"If you go to Eccles you will see a hive of activity. People are Eccles is moving towards greater utilisation of the estate," Nadir said, noting that this will create employment opportunities for the people of the community.

As regards the estates at New Amsterdam, Anna Regina and Lethem the physical process remains slow because funding for these projects is tied to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HPIC), 2002 programme, the minister related.

At New Amsterdam the process has also been hampered because of the slow process in transferring the land, which belongs to the Town Council, to the National Industrial Investment Limited.

However, the minister said he is scheduled to meet the Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Development Association shortly in an effort to speed up the process.

The 14-acre plot at Anna Regina on the Essequibo Coast needs to be upgraded with roads and drainage, while an environment impact assessment is being carried out on the 600-acre site at Lethem in the Rupununi, he said.