Philipsburg – The Minister Plenipotentiary, Rene Violenus and senior staff members of his cabinet, conducted a working visit to Sint Maarten this past week. The delegation included the cabinet director, Carol Voges and legal advisor, Farida Telgt. The main purpose of the mission was to ensure all stakeholders are aware of the cabinet, its mandate, structure and the many opportunities for collaboration and facilitation. Additionally, the team came to maintain and establish relations, improve lines of communication,offer assistance and share findings and perspectives from workingfor St. Maarten in the Netherlands.
Amongst other institutions, they visited departments within the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DBB)to have an initial discussion on attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and to share the cabinet’s view on the development of a foreign economic policy. Attracting investors has been a challenge for Sint Maarten, thus the delegation finds it important to get a better understanding of the challenges on the ground from the various stakeholders.
“As an outpost of Sint Maarten situated in Europe, the Cabinet meets with various dignitaries from all over the world. In order to attract investors and follow through on cooperation with interested governments/states, the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary plays a crucial role in relaying St. Maarten’s vision to these entities. This includes the areas in which we would like to collaborate with other countries. As such, it is important that we continue to sell Sint Maarten abroad, not only in terms of brandingbut also in letting the world know what makes this 37 square milesstand out from others in the region or globally,” Minister Violenus.
The delegation also met with departments within the Ministry of General Affairs to streamline the processes for the preparation of the Kingdom Council of Ministers meetings, as well as with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, His Excellency Governor Eugene B. Holiday, the Dutch Representation Office (VNP), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Parliament and the office of the Council of Advice. All discussions had were fruitful and served to reconnect and establish bridges geared at the enhancement of opportunities for the people of Sint Maarten. Minister Violenus looks forward to continued dialogue and keepingthe lines of communication open for more collaboration between Sint Maarten and the Netherlands.