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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Bryan Visits St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados in Bid to Foster Collaboration

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (Photo courtesy Government House)

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. recently traveled to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to improve trade relations and explore opportunities for collaboration in various industries between the Virgin Islands and St. Vincent. He also visited Barbados to investigate innovative housing solutions for the territory, which is facing a severe housing shortage, Government House announced.

During his visit to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Bryan discussed enhancing trade ties with Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar. They talked about the potential for increased produce exports from St. Vincent to the Virgin Islands and the emerging opportunities within St. Vincent’s cannabis industry, according to the press release.

Caesar invited Bryan to visit their world-certified cannabis operation. The tour showcased the advancements and potential of their medicinal cannabis cultivation, which is already exported to several European countries. This represents a significant new avenue for St. Vincent to expand its agricultural exports on a global scale, the press release stated.

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (Photo courtesy Government House)

In addition to discussions on trade, Bryan and Caesar explored avenues for cooperation in other areas, including the exchange of sand and the facilitation of educational opportunities for students from St. Vincent to further their studies in agriculture and other industries in the Virgin Islands, the release stated.

Bryan expressed his optimism about the prospects for increased collaboration between the Virgin Islands and St. Vincent, and the Grenadines. “Our visit has reaffirmed the strong bonds between our territories and highlighted exciting opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships. I am confident that by working together, we can harness the potential of our respective economies and create lasting prosperity for our people,” he said.

Bryan also traveled to Barbados, where he toured various housing developments with developer Mark Maloney, who has extensive experience in concrete and commercial ventures. The tour showcased several promising housing projects, including a 40-room condominium, a 1,500-house low-income affordable housing development, and a 500-house medium-income development, according to the release.

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. with Mark Maloney, executive chairman of Rock Hard Cement Company in Barbados. (Photo courtesy Government House)

A notable aspect of the visit was the use of precast concrete in constructing these housing developments. Precast concrete is a highly efficient and effective construction method that can erect a house’s structure in just one day and complete the entire construction process, including furnishing, within 60 days, according to the press release. This offers a promising solution to expedite housing construction and provide quick housing options for residents, it said.

Bryan expressed interest in exploring precast concrete construction as a viable method for affordable housing proposals across all three islands. The Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority is set to release a bid to solicit affordable housing proposals, with subsidy funding available for public housing and affordable housing options. Bryan emphasized the importance of maximizing these opportunities to meet the community’s housing needs, it said.

A Barbados home constructed using precast concrete. (Photo courtesy Government House)

“We are committed to ensuring that all residents have access to safe, affordable housing options,” said Bryan. “Exploring innovative construction methods like precast concrete will enable us to expedite the delivery of much-needed housing and improve the quality of life for our residents.”

Following the visit, Bryan and local stakeholders are scheduled to have follow-up meetings with developers to explore further the implementation of precast concrete housing solutions in the Virgin Islands. The aim is to move swiftly to address the housing shortage and provide tangible benefits to residents across the territory, the release stated.

Both visits will help foster regional cooperation and the pursuit of economic growth and development opportunities, it said.


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