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No salary cuts for St. Maarten Civil Servants, Unions rejects 50% vacation pay.

~ SXM is the only Caribbean country in the Kingdom not implementing the 12.5%  salary cuts.~

PHILIPSBURG:--- Finance Minister Ardwell Irion has his work cut out for him with the unions that are currently holding meetings at the Little League Stadium today Monday. The meetings that are being held by the Chamber of Labor Unions are a form of protest against the planned cuts to meet the demands of the Dutch Government for liquidity support.
The unions that are participating in what they describe as an urgent meeting are the ABVO, WITU, NAPB, SMCU, WICHUA, WIFOL, ASEWI, and WICSU/PSU Union.
St. Maarten’s Finance Minister made yet another proposal to the unions which is to leave the salaries of all civil servants intact but to cut 50% vacation pay for 2020 and 2021 across the board, other cuts include cutting uniforms cost, travel expenses and overtime, however, the unions rejected the proposals made by the government of St. Maarten.
Below is the latest proposal presented to the unions which were rejected by Windward Islands Teachers Union President Claire Elshot.

vacationcutsproposal25052020


Stable health conditions allow for another phase of deconfinement.

Border control ends on June 2nd.

MARIGOT:--- The deconfinement continues in Saint-Martin with the re-entry of pupils from 6th and 5th in public colleges and the reopening of beaches and pleasure boating.
If the health situation remains satisfactory, the next phase will be implemented on June 2, in particular the authorization of professional navigation and other nautical activities.
The lifting of cross-border controls will take place on June 2, 2020, if all the conditions are met. The memorandum of understanding in the health field is being finalized between Saint-Martin and Sint-Maarten
A working meeting was held Friday, May 22, 2020 between the Regional Health Agency and the Ministry of Health of Sint Maarten to establish a common doctrine, guaranteeing the monitoring and control of the health situation. A new exchange is planned for Tuesday, May 26 to coordinate testing strategies, contact tracing, and the terms of the fortnight.
The signing of this shared memorandum of understanding is expected in the coming days. Lifting of the fortnight with Guadeloupe and Martinique from May 25, 2020

In view of the stabilization of the health situation, the obligation of fourteen after a trip between the Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin, and Saint-Barthélemy was lifted this Monday, May 25. For travelers from mainland France traveling for an imperative reason on our islands, the principle of the fortnight is maintained. This is done at home, combined with a screening test protocol (D + 1 and J + 8). In accordance with the provisions of article 5 of decree 2020-548 of May 11, 2020, only movements authorized for a compelling personal or family reason remain, a health reason relating to the emergency or a professional reason cannot be deferred. People who travel for one of these reasons must complete a declaration of honor, bring the supporting documents for the emergency and their place of residence. Other trips (tourism, pleasure, family visit, ...) are prohibited until further notice.

RVO and COCI May 20 Webinar on Export-Ready Opportunities a Great Success.

benjaminortega25052020PHILIPSBURG:--- The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) May 20 webinar about being export ready was a great success President of the Supervisory Board of COCI Benjamin Ortega said on Sunday.
More than 58 companies and persons from the business community registered for the online seminar. There were also 30+ persons in attendance.
The registered businesses received a wealth of information on what export and being export ready entailed and what instruments have been designed to assist entrepreneurs.
The webinar also covered support in the form of coaching for companies. RVO explained in detail the history of this service to the entire Dutch Kingdom and now in particular St. Maarten.
There are many opportunities that St. Maarten is not taking advantage of because the island has been mainly considering imports into the country as a way of income. After COVID-19, things have been put more into perspective, and it is becoming more and more apparent and clear that as a country St. Maarten is in need of diversification of its income.
St. Maarten is already considered a hub in the North Eastern Caribbean, and this puts the island in a better position to start looking within at its very own made in St. Maarten products and to provide these to the world through export opportunities which means you need to be export ready.
COCI and RVO are asking those that have experience in exporting to other markets and countries, whether its products, services, or goods, to become a coach for other entrepreneurs. If you are an export leader or have many years of experience in export, then you too can become a coach to assist other local companies to become export-ready.
Speaking during the webinar Nalia Muriel from SXM Cosmetics spoke about her experience in becoming export-ready. This was considered an added value as those viewing could here first hand the experiences of a local entrepreneur on her challenges and successes in becoming an export-ready business from a St. Maarten perspective. Muriel also gave helpful tips for banking and online payments as well.
During the webinar many detailed questions were posted regarding shipping too and from St. Maarten and online payment availability and possibilities.
President Ortega explained of ongoing deliberations with local financial institutions and the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten, and within short more information will be made available.
These questions and many more matters relating to being export-ready, shipping, and online payments will be highlighted in the very near future.
If you wish to receive updates on future webinars organized by RVO and COCI relating to this topic and the other related matters, please send an email to confirm your request.
For more information on becoming export-ready, send your question or inquiry to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The webinar slides and discussions can be followed by clicking on the following link:
2020-05-20 16.06 SXM Export Webinar.mp4
If you would like the slides of the May 20 webinar, please send COCI your request at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and it will be emailed to you.
The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry Management and Board, would like to thank the entire RVO Team for putting this webinar together, and making the various instruments available to the St. Maarten business community.
The Chamber would also like to express its gratitude to Nalia Muriel for sharing her experiences as a local export leader on the island.
The webinar was an opportunity for the Sint Maarten business community, RVO, and COCI to provide information about the various instruments and programs that can benefit the country over the mid to long-term.
The webinar’s aim was to improve opportunities for entrepreneurs by strengthening their position and helping them realize their international ambitions by learning how to access funding, networking, know-how, and compliance with laws and regulations.
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made various instruments available to companies in Sint Maarten since January 1, 2018.
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency is a Dutch government organization that operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy that stimulates entrepreneurs in sustainable, agricultural, innovative, and international business.

The Ministry of Finance sends reminder letter to Holland.

ardwellirion15032020~Holland hasn’t subscribed to the bond sent in 2019~

PHILIPSBURG – The Country of Sint Maarten has made preparations in the past year to finance part of its capital expenditure by issuing a public bond for an amount of NAƒ 40 million. The Kingdom Act Financial Supervision Curacao and Sint Maarten (Kingdom Act) regulates the supervision of the public finances of Country Sint Maarten and Country Curacao. As usual, prior advice was obtained from the Board of Financial Support (Cft). In its letter dated 2 September 2019, the Cft advised positively on this bond to cover capital expenditure.
According to the Kingdom Act, Sint Maarten can finance its expenditure on the ‘kapitaaldienst’ by issuing a bond, once the relevant conditions are met. Sint Maarten sent their issuance of a bond to be subscribed to by The Netherlands in October 2019. When all of the conditions are met, it is not a matter of The Netherlands agreeing or not but “subscribing”. The Netherland’s Ministry of Finance has no discretionary or decisive role in the current subscription process, they are only obligated to subscribe.
The issuing of the bond has been made public. Although the Cft has advised positively on the issuance of the bond, The Netherlands has not yet subscribed to this bond. It is clear that the actions of The Netherlands are not in accordance with the Kingdom Act and violate the agreements found in the Kingdom Act agrees upon by all Kingdom partners.
St. Maarten’s Ministry of Finance has sent another letter reminding The Netherlands to subscribe.

Fire department issues fire warning due to dry spell.

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- The Fire Department which falls under the Ministry of General Affairs, is calling on the community to be very conscious by not throwing out lighted cigarettes or matches that could result in bush fires in fire-prone areas due to the dry spell that the island is currently experiencing.

Persons, who would like to burn bush or garbage in a built-up area, or on a hillside for agricultural activities, are requested to refrain from doing so, and contact the Fire Department for advice.

The inappropriate use of fire can endanger lives, property, and the environment in these dry weather conditions that the country is currently experiencing.

Fires can get out of control by spreading rapidly at high speeds quickly threatening lives and property.

A person can help by reducing bush fire hazards by acting responsibly and following the aforementioned advice from the National Fire Department.

Those seeking information can contact the Fire Department at 542-1215, 542-1217, 542-6001, or in case of an emergency 919.


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