MovieTowne proprietor, Derek Chin, said Government has ceased meeting with them as several issues are affecting the smooth completion of their US$45 million project, costing them additional millions in interest charges.
The Guyana-born businessman said the multimillion-dollar investment is being plagued by several challenges resulting in additional charges to him and his investors. He made this disclosure on Tuesday morning when several Private Sector bodies had a tour of the facility.
Chin said at the initial stage of their investment, they had regular meetings with Government but as time progressed, those meetings became scarce. He noted that those meetings are important since they can be used to iron out issues in relation to concessions among other things.
“We have met with Government and I don’t seem to meet with them anymore… to say that Mr Chin how is your investment going, what can we do to help. So that communication link with the Government is very important… the Private Sector is the driver. The Government cannot outrun the Private Sector because it is the Private Sector. It has its own money, but the Private Sector needs to be given that encouragement,” Chin said.
Additionally, the businessman said Government should be more involved in discussion with the Private Sector and work hand in hand since they are the ones who are the drivers of the economy.
“In Georgetown we need an overseer Minister to follow the progress and say what is going and be able to loosen some of the barriers and allow things to happen faster because people want delivery faster and we have to pay millions of in interest and it is a real burden,” he added.
Meanwhile, Private Sector Commission Chairman, Eddie Boyer, noted that there are several investments that are ready and waiting for Guyana but the Government needs to understand that they have to work with the Private Sector to realise those developments. He added at this time, the focus should be on the speedy completion of the project since it has overrun several completion dates due to a number of factors.
“The problems are minuscule, they are solvable and Government has to get involved to solve some of those problems… when you are doing a project the Government should have a person to fast track and make sure some of these things are done in time because overruns can cost millions of dollars,” he said.
In an effort to ease the burden on Chin, President of the Georgetown Chambers of Industry and Commerce, Deodat Indar, offered to be a conduit between Government and MovieTowne to assist with the completion of the project.
The initial cost of MovieTowne was pegged at US$30 million but has now escalated to US$45 million as a result of several delays. The investment is seen as the largest Private Sector undertaking in recent years and is expected to create several hundred jobs and boosting the economy.
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) and the Georgetown Chambers of Industry and Commerce (GCCI) to check on the progress and offer support to Chin ahead of the scheduled August opening planned the tour of the facility.
Once completed, MovieTowne Guyana will be outfitted with eight state-of-the-art screens with the total seating capacity of 2100 and equipped with the technology needed for patrons to immerse themselves in the magic of every film. Additionally, there would also be a 60,000-square foot Massy Stores Super Centre along with a series of various cafes, bistros, restaurant and stores. Among the cafes scheduled for the plaza is the famous Hard Rock Café.
During the tour, both PSC’s Chairman Boyer, and GCCI’s President Indar reiterated their commitment towards supporting the venture. They noted that it is investments like these that catches the attention of international investors making Guyana a hotspot for development.