THE HAGUE, the Netherlands - Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Josianne Fleming-Artsen last Thursday attended the Dutch Caribbean Business Club event at the Aruba House where she gave a presentation about Sint Maarten’s hub function and Government’s incentives to attract business to the country.
Minister Fleming-Artsen started out by first congratulating Aruba House Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Adolphus Boekhoudt and its partners Caribbean Business Hub and Dutch Caribbean Business Club with this business initiative permitting the exchange of business ideas and capacity building between entrepreneurs and investors.
“I compliment you on this business day. It is a time to listen and learn from each other in this Kingdom,” Minister Plenipotentiary Fleming-Artsen told the gathering.
“I am very honoured to stand here on behalf of my Government, the Government of Sint Maarten to address the question ‘What will Sint Maarten do in 2015 to stimulate entrepreneurs to do business with Sint Maarten’.
“Although this question is a timely one, it can be asked over and over again as governments make policies and strategies on economic development on an ongoing basis.
“When I review this question, it states also ‘what is Sint Maarten Government willing to give, to encourage investors who want to do business in Sint Maarten? Or what are the incentives for investors to come to Sint Maarten?
“The core throughout the governing program with undertakings outlined for 2015 is that the Sint Maarten Government belief is that a strong economy is the foundation of socio-economic growth. Fact is that all countries strive for a strong economy! All countries want serious investors! But which country has the best deals, the best incentives, and the best growth potential,” Minister Fleming-Artsen asked.
The Minister Plenipotentiary pointed out the excellent air and sea facilities which are the gateways to the country that links the country with Europe, Latin America and North America.
“The focus of the Government therefore is to ensure that: The human resources are trained and available to support business undertakings and service delivery; Support facilities are put in place to ensure the encompassing of new entrants in the market; The infrastructure is available to support an increase in traffic of goods, and humans; Pertinent data is available to investors to allow for a proper understanding of the Sint Maarten market, its needs and demands.
“Within the Governing program therefore those undertakings have been set forth to ensure that a conducive environment is created that will attract investors and enhance their potential of success in Sint Maarten,” Minister Fleming-Artsen pointed out.
The minister also added that even though Sint Maarten is a small country, it has proven to be a determined and persistent one.
“The Government of Sint Maarten has established development priorities to ensure investors its commitment to stimulate the investment markets. The following points will reflect the incentives for investors. The Government of Sint Maarten will:
- Formulate tax incentives to attract business incorporation / growth.
- Expand the financial services market
- Invest and seek partners in green sustainable energy
- Offer fiscal and other incentives for Brand name /Five Star hotels and time share properties. Investors who are interested in service providers will also receive same.
- Encourage investors for partnership in Medical Tourism, Sports Tourism and Events Tourism.
- Reduce seasonality for investors
- Stimulate off shore industry
- Partner with public private initiatives such Banking etc.
- Give Incentives for non tourism industries
- Give incentives and support efforts for food production, modern growing techniques such as hydroponics and aquaponics
“In closing, Sint Maarten will receive investors who not only want incentives but those who will also give back to the country. In these times when we are coming out of the economic crisis that has touched all of our countries, some more than others, we look forward to doing business with serious partners and investors in a country called Sint Maarten where the sun never sleeps,” Sint Maarten’s Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Josianne Fleming-Artsen concluded.