IMF Pays Article IV Visit and Meets with Government, Private Sector and Unions

A delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited the country last week. The delegation arrived on May 13, accompanied by members of the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten.
The delegation just completed their visit to Curaçao, where they first conducted the Article IV Consultations before they continued in St. Maarten. The Article IV Consultations are held in both countries due to the fact that Curaçao and Sint Maarten together form a monetary union.
The IMF has published, based on their findings, a preliminary findings report. The final version will be presented in their Consultation Staff report later in the year, (
The IMF is an international financial organization, formally created on December 27, 1945, initially with 29 member states. Now the IMF has 188 members and its headquarters are situated in Washington D.C. in the United States of America.
The IMF’s Articles of Agreement state under Article IV that the IMF will hold bilateral discussions with members, usually every year, in the countries involved. These consultations focus on the review of the overall economic development in a country, as well as its policy measures aimed at maintaining economic stability.
The IMF attempts to assess each country’s economic health in order to forestall future financial problems.
The Article IV Consultations are part of the surveillance tools applied by the IMF to monitor the economic and financial policies of its 188 member countries. In addition, the IMF offers technical assistance to its members and provides loans to countries that have trouble meeting their international payments, as well as provides concessional loans to low-income countries to help them develop their economies and reduce poverty[1].
The IMF delegation consisted of five members and was headed by Mission Chief, Davide Lombardo, who is a Senior Economist at the European Department of the IMF and included Menno Snel, who is an Executive Director of the IMF Executive Board.
During their week on the island the IMF delegation conducted meetings with Government representatives and other stakeholders of economic importance, namely the Uitvoeringsorgaan Sociale en Ziektekosten Verzekeringen (SZV), Algemeen Pensioen Fonds (APS), the Chamber of Commerce, Sint Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SMHTA), Indian Merchants Association (IMA) and Union representatives.
At the end of their visit the delegation had a meeting with the Council of Ministers on Saturday, May 17, in order to present and discuss the preliminary report. The findings presented were not entirely a major surprise to the Council; the Prime Minister stated that “the issues as you put forward that government need to take into consideration, are issues we ourselves have outlined that needs to happen,”, thus Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams.
The Council was therefore pleased to receive confirmation from an independent observer regarding the priorities identified by the Government. Furthermore, the Council expressed their appreciation that IMF took into consideration the challenges Sint Maarten is facing and the factors that have a great impact on the matters that influence the outcome of the report.
On Sunday, May 18, the IMF delegation went per bus on a sightseeing tour around the Dutch side of the island, as well as a Simpson Bay Lagoon tour by boat. The delegation received on-site presentations at the Port St. Maarten (Harbour Group of Companies), the Wastewater Treatment Plant at A.T. Illidge Road and during the boat tour in the Simpson Bay Lagoon.
In the bus representatives of the Government (Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure, Ministry of General Affairs and Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications) were at hand to elucidate about the new developments and projects along the route. The delegation received a tour of the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE) before departure on Monday, May 19.
The IMF officially stated that the delegation “is grateful for both islands’ warm hospitality, for the authorities’ cooperation both in the run-up and during the visit, and for open, frank and constructive discussions”.