Minister Meyers says time right for a change

Minister of Economic & Tourism Affairs, Telecommunications & Transport Franklin Meyers stressed that ‘a road map has to be drawn up to achieve a fairer and more balanced economy’, at the recently concluded Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) 2012-2022 workshop held at Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa.


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"During a follow up workshop in May 2012 the initial Economic Strategy for the coming years will be presented to the public, creating the opportunity for the public to give feedback and make this a SEP that will be supported by the people of the country the coming years. As was indicated during the workshop: It is the right time for a change!," Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Hon. Franklin Meyers said on Sunday.

On March 22nd 2012, more than 50 attendees of the economic work stream were all enthusiastic about the workshop and dedicated their time and effort into the debates.

The participants, from both private and public sector, debated on the economic problems that Sint Maarten is currently facing and brainstormed together on possible solutions. All attendees agreed that now is the time to make the change; Sint Maarten needs a new mind set and the momentum for that change is now. By thinking outside of the box, we should work on a long term vision that will create a sustainable economy and enhance the quality of life.

During the workshop a topic that was often heard was the high cost of doing business as well as the increasing cost of living in comparison to other islands in our region; both having a negative effect on the economy.

Various solutions were discussed, as means to make doing business easy and more efficient. To explain the correlation between these two identified problems the "happiness domino effect" was introduced by a participant, which simply means that happy residents attract visitors and happy visitors attract investors. This illustrates once more that the solutions for current problems do not stand alone, but will require the cooperation of all sectors within the society.

The SEP 2012-2022 must not be seen as a new economic plan. The SEP is merely an update of the economic strategy. By combining current sentiments within the community, many strategic studies that has already been executed and from the innovative and out of the box ideas that were given at the workshop, the SEP will be drafted.

The SEP 2012-2022 workshop was organized by the Government of Sint Maarten with support from KPMG Advisory Services B.V.