Time is right for a change, Minister Meyers saysPOSTED: 04/23/12 8:32 PM
St. Maarten – “A road map has to be drawn up to achieve a fairer and more balanced economy,” Economic Affairs Minister Franklin Meyers said at the recently concluded strategic economic plan 2012-2022 workshop at Westin hotel.
“During a follow up workshop in May the initial economic strategy for the coming years will be presented, creating the opportunity for the public to give feedback and make this a plan that will be supported by the people. As was indicated during the workshop: It is the right time for a change,” Meyers said yesterday.
On March 22nd 2012, more than 50 attendees of the economic work stream were all enthusiastic about the workshop and dedicated their time and effort to the debates.
The participants, from both private and public sector, debated the economic problems that Sint Maarten is currently facing and brainstormed together about possible solutions. All attendees agreed that now is the time to make the change. “Sint Maarten needs a new mindset and the momentum for that change is now. By thinking outside of the box, we should work on a long term vision that will create a sustainable economy and enhance the quality of life,” Meyers said.
The high cost of doing business and the increasing cost of living compared to other islands were two returning discussion points during the workshop; both issues have a negative effect on the economy.
Participants discussed various solutions to make doing business easy and more efficient. To explain the correlation between these two identified problems the “happiness domino effect” was introduced by a participant, which simply means that happy residents attract visitors and happy visitors attract investors. This illustrates that the solutions for current problems do not stand alone, but will require the cooperation of all sectors.
The SEP 2012-2022 is not a new economic plan, but an update of the country’s economic strategy. The SEP will be based on a combination of current sentiments within the community with strategic studies that have already been executed and innovative and out of the box ideas that surfaced during the workshop.
The workshop was organized by the government with support from KPMG Advisory Services B.V.