Minister Meyers looking at developing economic opportunities with China


Minister of Economic & Tourism Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunications Franklin Meyers, met with Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun, who is based in the Netherlands, on Friday morning at the Government Administration Building.

China surpassed Japan as the world’s second-largest economy last quarter, capping the nation’s three- decade rise from Communist isolation to emerging superpower.

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Japan’s nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the second quarter totalled US$1.288 trillion, less than China’s US$1.337 trillion.

China with a population of approximately 1.3 billion people will overtake the U.S., where annual GDP is about $14 trillion, as the world’s largest economy by 2027, according to

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chief economist Jim O’Neill.

China’s surpassing of Japan points to its increasingly dominant role in the global economy.

The Minister indicated that Sint Maarten is more than willing to explore the possibilities between the two countries in the areas of Tourism and Economy. We have to share information and explore possibilities on which projects we could engage in, Minister Meyers pointed out.

By 2020, China will have 100 million outbound travellers, the highest in the world. In 2009, 50 million travelled a figure that is increasing annually by 20 per cent.

According to Chinese statistics, each very wealthy individual traveller spent US$6,000 each on a visit to the United States, so there are huge opportunities for the retail industry to position the Caribbean as a super-premium destination for the discerning traveller. Other draws include gambling, golf and VIP experiences.

Currently there is a very good working relationship in trade between the Netherlands and China. Within the European Union, the Netherlands is ranked number two for the past eight years, according to the Ambassador, who indicated as well that Sint Maarten could take advantage of this situation and join the relationship and examine the possibilities that would benefit both countries.

Minister Meyers said that indeed he will look into the possibility of setting up a mechanism to explore on how to increase the possibilities and opportunities in working with Chinese companies to the benefit of the Sint Maarten community where it concerns our socio-economic development.

Ambassador Jun welcomed the Minister’s words and expressed his willingness of the Government in Sint Maarten to work together with China.