Guyana simplifies investment processes with new single-window system

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The oil-rich nation of Guyana is taking significant steps to simplify business operations and attract more investments with the launch of its Planning and Development Single Window system. This new system, as announced by President Dr. Irfaan Ali, focuses on streamlining the building-permissions process, which has long been plagued by complexity and bureaucratic hurdles.

During the Ministry of Housing and Water, Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) launch event held on June 19, 2024, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, President Ali stressed the system’s goal of centralizing and simplifying the approval process.

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“Guyana’s economy is expanding globally, so we have people from almost every corner of the world participating in our economy now, and our system must take this into account. It has taken away human biases and is making it a more rule-based system, and that is how we want the country to run,” President Ali said.

The CH&PA’s Single Window website portal

The new Electronic Planning and Development Single-Window System, developed under the Single-Window System Act and approved by the National Assembly in July 2023, serves as a one-stop shop for all development-related permissions and clearances.

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The single-window system integrates the Central Board of Health, the Ministry of Public Works, the River and Defense Board, the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Guyana Fire Service, the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, the National Trust of Guyana, the Guyana Office for Investment, the Land Registry, the Deeds Registry, Guyana Water Incorporated, all Neighborhood Democratic Councils, and local authorities, including municipalities among other agencies.

According to President Ali, the system, whose software was developed by the National Data Management Authority, aims to enhance business efficiency, particularly in the housing and construction sectors, which have seen substantial growth. The Head of State highlighted the anticipated outcomes of this system: increased transparency, efficiency, and investor-friendliness.

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“This definitely has to put us in the top ten when it comes to permitting and construction. This is innovation at its finest. This entire platform is meant to be transferable to all countries within this region so that we all can improve our doing-business indicators and enhance competitiveness and transparency. We are ready to export this homegrown, homemade system,” President Ali noted. 

The launch of the Single-Window System is part of a broader governmental effort to remove barriers to investment and foster economic growth. It complements other legislative measures, such as the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, commonly known as the E-Bill, which provides a statutory framework for secure and legitimate online transactions.

By digitizing and centralizing the building-permissions process, Guyana aims to create a more conducive environment for investors and expedite development projects. President Ali reaffirmed that this innovative approach is expected to significantly contribute to the nation’s economic expansion, positioning Guyana as a leading destination for global investments.

More information about the Single Window can be found on the CH&PA’s website: https://chpa.gov.gy/single-window

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