Many attend the Sint Maarten Trust Fund webinar geared towards the business community.

Over 300 persons from the business community on Sint Maarten, Curacao, Aruba, and Bonaire attended an interactive webinar on Thursday, May 9. The webinar was the first of a series of information sessions geared towards involving the business community (within the Dutch Kingdom) more closely to activities and contracts connected to the Trust Fund.

The Sint Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fund is financed by the government of the Netherlands for up to 470 million euros (US$553.4 million) and managed by the World Bank. The Sint Maarten government implements the activities financed by the Trust Fund in partnership with the World Bank.

During the first two-hour session, the Sint Maarten National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB), the World Bank and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) provided information about Tenders and Procurement Rules of the World Bank in relation to the Trust Fund. The webinar was hosted by the Chamber(s) of Commerce & Industry (COCI) in close cooperation with the Dutch Representation Offices of the four participating islands.

Benjamin Ortega, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (COCI) in Sint Maarten expressed the importance of working together: “Aligning with the right network of companies – whether local, regional or even internationally will help build back a better and stronger St. Maarten.”

Seen at the information session were representatives of construction companies, engineer bureau’s, building material suppliers, tour companies, environmental and management consultants and others interested in playing a part in the reconstruction of Sint Maarten.

Sonja Velthuizen, Director of the Chamber of Commerce in Aruba reported that the webinar was a success: “There was a lot of interest of the private sector in the tenders of the World Bank.” The webinar was also well received in Curacao: “The webinar exceeded our expectations in terms of attendance, we even had to move to a different, larger location to be able to facilitate all interested parties.” according to the Director of the Chamber of Commerce in Curacao.

The presentations held by the World Bank and RVO focused on ‘working with the World Bank’ including the general tender process and procurement rules. The NRPB focused on specific situations regarding the reconstruction of Sint Maarten; the current and short-term projects that are being carried out connected to the Trust Fund, via the World Bank.

“The private sector is a key partner in building resilience on Sint Maarten. The attendance and level of interest at all locations was impressive. This seminar was a promising step in engaging private businesses and other partners to deliver recovery projects on the ground.” says Doekle Wielinga, Senior Liaison Officer for the World Bank in Sint Maarten

The webinar was concluded with a Q&A. There were many questions posed from the participants and those which could not be answered within the webinar session will be answered in writing and addressed at the upcoming ‘live’ sessions. COCI St. Maarten also gave attendees the option to send any additional questions to: ch*************@ch***************.sx

Claret Connor, NRPB Director encourages stakeholders to join in on upcoming sessions connected to the Trust Fund: “I feel very content with the participation, quality of information presented by the World Bank and perspective given by RVO. I look forward to the individual island meetings where we can delve into specific points and further clarify on questions posed by the various audiences. This is the first of many of these types of outreaches that can benefit stakeholders, including the business community, NGOs, community organizations and others.” .

The ‘live’ sessions, exact dates to be announced, will be held during the first week of June. For more information on the Trust Fund, current tenders and the NRPB: or