Barbados is seeking assistance from Guyana in the provision of certain types of construction materials to build houses here, Minister of Housing Dr William Duguid said on Monday.
In return, Barbados is expected to export building materials to Georgetown as part of a two-way trade deal currently being discussed, he told Barbados TODAY.
Dr Duguid said while the proposed bilateral arrangement was one of the areas discussed during a recent three-day exploratory trade mission to the Caribbean Community member-state, Barbados has expressed an interest in buying sand from Guyana.
“We looked at the opportunities for sand, for them to be able to provide sand here and for us to be able to provide bitumen and other products. There are also opportunities for them to provide some unpolished wood so that we can dry and finish the wood here in Barbados,” the minister said after returning home exactly a week ago.
He disclosed that Guyana is also looking to import limestone from Barbados.
Asked to provide details for possible quantities of products to be sold and bought, he replied: “No numbers as yet, we are just exploring so we can then finalise things, but it was definitely a very good trip to be able to strengthen our relations between the two countries. We are only hoping to build on that.”
The Minister of Housing said the pending trade arrangement came out of a discussion his delegation held with President Irfaan Ali and Prime Minister Mark Phillips in Georgetown.
Those talks are a follow-up to bilateral talks between Prime Minister Mia Mottley and President Ali on the sidelines of the UNCTAD15 conference here last month.
A reciprocal visit by Guyanese ministers to Barbados is to take place at a yet-to-be-determined date to seek deals on housing, transport and commerce.
“We are certainly looking for a reciprocal visit by the Ministers to Barbados,” Dr Duguid said.
He said he went to Guyana for the October 22 to 24 trip, to look at the housing developments there and to see if there were any ideas from which Barbados could benefit or what two-way trade was possible.
“So it was extremely beneficial and we are very happy; and we are looking to set up a follow up visit with ministers from Guyana coming into Barbados to see what opportunities are here as well,” Dr Duguid explained.
In a separate development, officials here are focusing on completing arrangements for the arrival here later this month of 150 prefabricated emergency houses from China at a cost of $29 million.