–Minister Walrond says
MINISTER of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond has said that the “ready offices” service provided by Belgium company, Regus, will be a game changer for the local tourism sector. The company, which is located on down-town Waterloo Street, offers its clients physical, private and dedicated office and work space, as well as virtual offices that could be used in the short, medium and long term as a base for operations.
According to the experts, “ready offices” are similar to traditional offices or office buildings, but are fully-furnished, fully-equipped, and managed by a company with the ability to rent individual rooms or floors to other companies.
Minister Walrond reasoned that this type of service will enable growth in the tourism sector, as it will give international investors a level of comfort as they explore investment opportunities within the country.
She noted that with this type of service, investors now have the option of renting a physical space to set up operations, instead of operating out of their hotel room, a café or other public spaces. “This is quite an important solution, especially to start-up businesses, and people who are coming to do fact-finding missions. As investors, they have a temporary space they can come to that’s professional; that’s secure, and this is an exciting solution to many of our investors that are coming in,” Minister Walrond said. This type of business, she said, would also be “extremely beneficial” not just to international companies looking to invest in the country, but also to local businesses looking to set up professional business spaces.
In short, this is a timely solution, since, in her view, many start-up businesses do not have a physical space, and cannot immediately construct their own professional spaces.
For this reason, this type of professional environment would not only enable them to reach more customers, but also allow them to explore more opportunities for partnership with international partners and investors.
Company Operations Director, Stuart May, who has responsibility for the Caribbean region, said that although they have been in operations in Guyana for just over a year, they expect continued growth over time.
He said that the company brought its services to Guyana to cater to the influx of investments that they expect the country to garner from the oil-and-gas sector.
He related that the company expects to see investors from large franchises, inclusive of fast-food ones, that would need office spaces while assessing ways to “set up shop” in Guyana.
“We saw the opportunity to come into Guyana and provide this service, given not just that there are developments in the oil and gas sector, but also because the mining and many other businesses and economic areas are seeing significant development,” May said.
He related that the company, at its Waterloo Street facility, houses 19 office spaces of five different sizes, which could accommodate two, four, six, 16 or 22 persons each. May further explained that clients could contract spaces from Regus for flexible timelines, starting from one hour to one day, a month or a year, and can continue extending as they so desire.
The company also provides each client with amenities such as free Internet access, kitchen and washroom facilities, and free parking space in the company’s compound.