Minister Connor: Private sector, NGO’s and service are vital for tangible economic growth

Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Claret Connor says that in the first few months of 2015, Government will share many ideas and initiatives to trigger tangible economic growth and that most of these initiatives will be done in collaboration with the Private sector and Non-government organizations (NGOs) with a strong focus on service.

In addressing the public for the first time since being sworn in, the Minister said he looks forward to starting his tenure with renewed passion and vision that will hopefully effect sustainable economic growth for our country and a better quality of life for all.

“As many would agree, any notable advancement for our country and our livelihood, is contingent on our country’s economic development. Our people therefore, must be the ultimate beneficiary of economic prosperity,” Minister Connor said.

“In recent years improving the conditions for sustainable, economic development has increasingly become the primary focus of Government. More must be done however on all levels to achieve this. We have to come to terms with our respective contributions to our country’s development. These contributions in particular in our tourism-dependent economy are for the most part tied to the quality of services that are rendered. Service levels and standards will be two important principles that will receive due attention from my ministry,” he added.
The Minister stressed that the service industry, which encompasses a number of economic sectors can be considered as an industry on its own. “On the other side of that spectrum, we should be able to measure the actual level of service being offered to our citizens and visitors. The levels of service can be measurable if same can be defined by establishing ratings, defining targets, demonstrating best practices and performances. In addition, it is essential for those who are responsible for delivering service to be equipped and empowered with the necessary training, skills and tools.”

He added that the mere belief that St. Maarten can improve its state of affairs and develop through rational and creative policies should be a collective approach. “Fellow St. Maarteners, we have work to do! It is however unrealistic for Government do it alone. You will look to us as you should for direction, but we will look to you for partnership in this journey. We trust that we will be able to count on you to do your part.”

“There is no doubt that the challenges we shall face in 2015 will be trying at times. We will however, in our usual optimistic and resilient spirit, “roll up our sleeves” and get to work on moving St. Maarten forward. As a Government, we understand that identifying priorities and having the discipline to remain focus on these priorities is vital for St. Maarten at this stage in its development.”

“As we open this New Year, let us foremost consider the positive attributes our country has to offer and the prospects for our people. From my family to yours, I extend warm wishes for a prosperous 2015. May God Almighty bless our beloved St. Maarten,” The Minister concluded.