Voges presents investment opportunities at Carekine Business Summit

POSTED: 06/27/12 12:30 PM

Minister Plenipotentiary Mathias Voges presents organizer of Carkine Business Summit Evelin-Pierre Dumfries with a copy of the St. Maarten Golden Book. (DCOMM Photo)

Follow-up meetings planned for July and August

St. Maarten – Minister Plenipotentiary Mathias Voges represented the country at 2012 Carekine Business Summit, held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands last week Friday. The objective of the business summit was to connect businesses in the Netherlands with the Caribbean region. The organizer created a platform where companies, government representatives and (development) banks were able to get acquainted, discuss opportunities and see how parties can facilitate each other.

In the presence of other speakers, such as the Ministers Plenipotentiary of Aruba Edwin Abath and Curacao Sheldry Osepa), the Dutch representative of the BES islands, and the Vice-President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Carla Barnett, outlined the possibilities for investment that would be attractive to attract investors from the Netherlands. He informed the audience that St. Maarten as a country is busy intensifying her efforts in the sustainable growth of her own market, but also looking at possibilities to increase possibilities of mutual trade in the Caribbean. He also emphasized the hub-, and gateway function St. Maarten has in the Caribbean region and said the modern harbour and airport facilities should be able to support these efforts.

The harbour and airport can also support the government’s efforts to diversify the economy.
Emphasis was also placed on the historical fact that investors from around the world were able to find their way to St. Maarten throughout the past decades, while the interest from the Netherlands, besides a few large contractors and wholesalers, remained rather conservative.
“We must not see the ocean that divides the countries as an obstruction but as a means of getting in contact with each other,” Voges said.
The audience was further informed about St. Maarten’s import duty free status and the possibilities of favorable tax-rulings. The spotlight was also aimed at the government’s development priorities, such as sustainable economic development, a (financial) sovereign rating for St. Maarten, small business development, revised tax legislation, green sustainable energy, and human resources.
“These all being ingredients which should create trust and stability as an investment partner,” Voges told his audience.

Voges, accompanied by his cabinet staff members Perry Geerlings and Carol Voges, invited the attendees to meet with his staff in the scheduled parallel sessions for more detailed information on the economy and procedures with regards to establishing a business on St. Maarten. The parallel session scheduled for St. Maarten was very well attended by interested parties from all segments of the business world.
“We were able to further inform and discuss possibilities and policies with people interested in green and sustainable energy, building of green energy production and development facilities, construction and expansion of harbor facilities, hotel construction, facilities for the production of goods for the Caribbean and Latin American markets, education and human resources, agriculture and small business entrepreneurship,” Voges told the Department of Communication (DCOMM) on Tuesday.
Follow up meetings with interested parties are being scheduled for the month of July and August.
Voges extended his gratitude and appreciation to the organizers for a well-organized event and the opportunity created for all involved. He particularly thanked Evelin-Pierre Dumfries and presented her with the “Golden Book” of St. Maarten as token of appreciation.

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