Trade mission brings Dutch companies to St. Maarten

POSTED: 12/27/13 5:38 PM

InterExpo booked already all meeting rooms at the Westin for May 2014

UPDATED ON DECEMBER 27, 2013

St. Maarten – The celebration of 200 years kingdom will bring more to St. Maarten than the Kingdom Youth Parliament alone in May of next year. InterExpo Caribbean NV will host its 18th trademission on the island in the same period – from May 21 to 23.

InterExpo manager Peter Oerlemans said yesterday at the launch of the Chamber of Commerce’s Investors’ Guide 20/20 at the University of St. Martin, that the trade mission will bring between 40 and 50 companies to St. Maarten, among them at least fifteen from the Netherlands. Big names like Philips and Akzo Nobel have been approached.

“I expect lots of Dutch entrepreneurs and politicians to be here,” Oerlemans said, adding that Euro-parliamentarians have also been asked to attend the event. The trade mission includes a congress and a matchmaking initiative that will take place at the Westin in Dawn Beach. Oerlemans said that he had already reserved all the meeting rooms at the hotel for this purpose. InterExpo has lined up 25 speakers; KLM-President Camiel Eurlings, and the chairman of the board of Philips Electronics, Frans van Houten have been approached but they have not confirmed yet.

“We have booked so many companies, I can already say now that this trade mission is a success,” Oerlemans said.

The trade mission focuses on connecting sustainable businesses from the Netherlands with partners in the Caribbean region,

One of the participants is a Dutch company that is active in fire safety and environmental friendly technology. On the InterExpo website, this (unidentified) entrepreneur explains why the trade mission to St. Maarten is interesting: “Dutch legislation is applicable to the Windward Islands of Saba and Statia and these economies are thus very accessible for Dutch companies.”

Part of the trade mission is a debate among 60 students – chosen from several hundreds – at the University of St. Martin. “They will express their vision on business developments,” Oerlemans said.

InterExpo has been organizing trade missions, congresses and events with an international character in the Caribbean, the Netherlands, Europe, Asia and North and Latin America since 1996. Former Kingdom relations State Secretary Ank Bijleveld-Schouten – currently president of the Dutch National committee 200 years Kingdom, supports the InterExpo trade mission. In a letter, dated December 17, Bijleveld writes among other things, “InterExpo Caribbean NV has agreed to be one of the sponsors of the Kingdom Youth Parliament in May 2014. For that reason, it has also chosen to organize its 18th trade mission on St. Maarten, in the same week the Kingdom Youth Parliament takes place. This way there are interesting combinations to be made that make the national event 200 Years Kingdom on St. Maarten even more meaningful.”

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