Permanent committee to meet with Minister and Community Stakeholders with respect to Economy


Last week the Permanent Committee of Parliament for Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications met under the Chairmanship of Honourable Member of Parliament (MP) Jules James where they discussed a number of issues.

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The permanent committee will be inviting the Hon. Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications Franklin Meyers along with the Secretary General and respective department heads to a meeting to provide information and also an update on the current state of the economy, policy issues and the economic forecast for the balance of the year.

"MPs would like to receive information about policies related to obtaining a business license. The feedback from the private sector has been that certain policies frustrate the process and we need to find ways to facilitate an expedited process.

"By meeting with the Hon. Minister and his team, we can work together in exploring how to simplify the process. Secondly, we are interested in knowing what plans are in place to attract young locals to become investors and entrepreneurs in our economy," Permanent Committee Chairman Hon. MP Jules James said.

Committee members would also like to meet with the Bankers Association with respect to what can be done to inject more capital into the economy in order to jumpstart what has been described as a sluggish economy.

"We would like to know what can be done to provide more attractive interest rates for small businesses as well as about why certain banks charge fees for some products/services while others don’t. Besides these issues, we would like to get their view on dollarization versus having a joint Dutch Caribbean Guilder with Curacao.

"The committee is also interested in meeting with other organization such as the Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Timeshare Association, the Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association, Taxi and Bus Drivers Associations, the Rental Committee, Telem, United Telecommunications Company (UTS) and other stakeholders.

"We would like to hear from them about the current state of affairs in their sectors and what existing legislation needs to be modified based on the current development of our country and/or what new legislative initiatives are needed for our nation’s socio-economic development," Chairman of the Committee for Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications Hon. MP Jules James concluded.

The committee will have a follow-up meeting after the Easter holidays to plan a meeting schedule with the various stakeholders.

Committee members are Hon. MPs Leroy De Weever, Hon. MP Patrick Illidge, and Hon. MP Frans Richardson. Also in attendance was Hon. President of Parliament Gracita Arrindell.