Improving economy is central focus of governing program

POSTED: 09/15/11 12:22 PM

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams presents the youngest member of the media Luduska Dongo with a copy of the governing program – A Foundation of hope for our country – just after Wednesday’s abbreviated version of the Council of Ministers press briefing.

GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams has said that an Economic Investment Plan is also part of the government’s policy plan for the 2011 – 2012 parliamentary year as part of a focus on improving the country’s economy. The announcement at Wednesday’s Council of Ministers press briefing comes a day after Governor drs Eugene Holiday delivered the first State of the Nation Address and the Prime Minister presented the governing program to President of Parliament Gracita Arrindell.

The new investment plan is not specifically mentioned in the governing program, but it will eventually become an attachment to it, because it will contain the specific projects government will execute, when they will be done, who will pay for the costs and where the money will come from. The overall goal of the investment plan will be creating an enabling environment that allows people to grow and provide for themselves and their family with social assistance.
“The focus has been put on economic growth, because we believe that with economic growth, many of the other things will fall in place because our people will have job opportunities, there will be the possibility for business. If we have business, things like medical insurance and such will fall into place,” Wescot-Williams said.
Crafting and eventually implementing the plan are part of the government’s wider focus in the coming four years as outlined in the governing program which outlines the steps for government to deal with bureaucracy, the need for a new tax system on the short term and good governance.
“I can safely say you have received a synopsis of government’s plans, the challenges that we face in seeking to carry out these plans, but also the resolve with which the government is setting about, carrying out the plans that stem from the commitments made by the parties who are now represented in government,” the prime minister said.
Wescot-Williams also stressed on Wednesday that the government must conduct more studies in order to move forward with its plans.
“While there are several studies that we have used as we not only prepared this program, but also look at our budget, things are changing so rapidly that government cannot afford to do things, by just wetting its thumb and just holding it up against the wind to see how the wind blows. We need data. It has also been made very clear that in order to pursue the courses that we know are necessary for St. Maarten going forward,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister also pointed out that despite the current economic turmoil the government remains optimistic that they will be able to overcome the challenges and obstacles in its way if all stand united.

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