OECS Leaders Endorse Construction Sector Growth

Homes Under Construction At West Farm-Boyds

Homes Under Construction At West Farm-Boyds
Photo By Erasmus Williams

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
May 26, 2009 (CUOPM)

St. Kitts and Nevis and other Member States of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have been asked to examine the feasibility of establishing arrangements for joint procurement of sand cement, steel and high quality lumber, using the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement System model as a platform.

During last week’s 49th Meeting of the OECS Authority in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, the leaders of the sub-region received the Report of a Special Meeting on the OECS construction sector held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in March 2009.

That meeting had been requested by the Joint OECS Authority and ECCB Monetary Council Meeting which concluded that the construction sector had a vital role to play in the recovery effort and that creative strategies should be developed to ensure the continued growth of this sector.

Heads of Government endorsed a number of short and medium term recommendations which urged Member States to give focused attention to mobilising development financing and offering fiscal incentives to spur investments in the expansion of low to middle income housing projects.

Other recommendations include using Community Colleges and other specialised institutions, to expand and offer certified training in construction management and ancillary trades; establish an information portal on proposed and pipeline OECS and wider regional projects through the OECS E-Government for Regional Integration Project (EGRIP) in a bid to increase the transparency of opportunities for OECS construction companies to bid jointly on construction projects.

It was also recommended that there be focused attention over the medium term to the greater use of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) for the delivery of public services, in a bid to increase cost effectiveness of delivery, generate more private sector activity and free up public resources for redeployment in other priority service areas and, to that end, engage the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) as a partner in the development of a fiscally prudent approach to the use of PPPs in public expenditure programmes.

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