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EXCLUSIVE: PM holding up appointment of Chris Wever, wants Giterson to sign off on personal land deal.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Incoming Minister of VROMI Chris Wever who was supposed to take up his position this week is facing setbacks allegedly because the Prime Minister of St. Maarten Leona Romeo Marlin is holding up the process.
SMN News learned that the reports from the prosecutor’s office and VDSM are ready and has cleared Wever however, the Prime Minister is yet to submit the reports to the Governor for vetting and appointment of the Minister.
Sources within the coalition said that the Prime Minister wants to keep Minister Miklos Giterson in office for a few days or weeks since she wants him to sign off on a land swap that would benefit her personally.
According to the information provided to SMN News, the Prime Minister wants to swap the parcel of land she received within days from government a few years ago for another parcel of land.

The acting head of domain affairs Raeyon Peterson is not comfortable with the request of the Prime Minister and is being pressured to make it happen, at all cost, prior to Giterson leaving office. Questions are now being raised as to whether the head of domain affairs would report the Prime Minister's request to the integrity chamber.

SMN News further learned that the Prime Minister already threatened the incoming Minister telling him that she would be monitoring everything he does especially since he was appointed by MP Chanel Brownbill. It is alleged that Romeo Marlin told Wever that if she sees anything that does not look right she will report him to the Prosecutor’s Office.
SMN News learned that the Prime Minister continues to threaten civil servants with regards to integrity issues while she herself has none in seeking to obtain government land for personal benefit.

Deedee Johnson joins the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary to Research Grant Systems of the EU and the Netherlands.

deedeejohnson21082019PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- The Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary in The Hague, the Netherlands, in its effort to afford young professionals the opportunity to gain hands-on experience prior to entering the workforce welcomed, Deedee Johnson to the Cabinet.

Johnson, a legal scholar, will be working at the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary through the month of August, where she has been tasked to research the grant systems of the Netherlands and the European Union in the areas of Creative Industries and assistance to Small Medium Enterprises (SME).

The Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary has chosen these specific sectors, as they are often key in expanding and diversifying a country’s economic base.

Hence, when taking into account the growth of these two sectors on a global platform, it is more than worthwhile to research possibilities for the financing of projects on Sint Maarten geared towards the strengthening of small and medium enterprises, specifically those in the creative industries, Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary pointed out.

“By doing so, we will be able to contribute to the further development of SMEs on the island. The outcome of this process will ultimately result in these businesses reaching even higher competitive standards, becoming better prepared to market their products and services on the international market and increase their overall resilience,” Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary explained.

Deedee Johnson in an invited comment elaborated on her enthusiasm on being given the opportunity to research and present her findings. St. Maarten, Ms. Johnson stated, is currently in the phase of recovery after the catastrophic effects of hurricane Irma. These catastrophic effects have resulted in huge financial constraints on the island on our road to recovery, Johnson reportedly said.

Johnson: Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we understand various ways in which we can rebuild stronger both structurally and financially in order to become sustainable in our fragile environment. During my internship at the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary of Sint Maarten in The Hague, I will be conducting detailed research on the various European Union and Dutch grants, vouchers and funding that are available for small and medium enterprises and the creative industry on St. Maarten.

With this report Ms. Johnson hopes to provide a step by step comprehensive overview that will allow entrepreneurs and professionals to have a clear and concise understanding of the opportunities available to them through the European Union and The Netherlands. This will essentially encourage financial growth and innovation as Sint Maarten continues to rebuild as a nation.

The report will be published for the public at large through various platforms, such as, social media, the website of the Minister Plenipotentiary, Department of Communications (DCOMM) and various institutions on Sint Maarten.

“I would like to advise the residents of Sint Maarten to stay informed on the activities we are carrying out here in The Netherlands on behalf of Sint Maarten and to join us in creating a positive and greater presence in the international community as a strong, resilient and innovative young country,” the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary said on Wednesday in a statement.

After completing this task, Deedee Johnson will be taking a one-year sabbatical from her studies and will be returning to Sint Maarten where her services will be rendered to government in this critical recovery stage of the country.

Supply side of the economy requires more attention.

PHILIPSBURG:--- During today’s luncheon of the Curaçao Business Association (“Vereniging Bedrijfsleven Curaçao”), Mr. Bob Traa, acting president of the Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten (CBCS), sparked the interest of those present with his diagnosis of and possible solutions for the current economic situation in Curaçao.

Traa pointed out that labor productivity shows a negative trend in Curaçao, while at the same time the growth of potential working-age persons is shrinking. As a result, the potential growth of the economy is negative. When productivity declines, business firms reduce employment to lower costs, which increases unemployment. Curaçao not only has a high unemployment rate, but there is also too much-unused capital, e.g., empty houses and hotel buildings, and excess liquidity in our banking system. Furthermore, as a result of the negative productivity, Curaçao lacks competitiveness and has a high deficit on the current account of the balance of payments. The economic structure is gradually shifting from industry to tourism.

Based on this diagnosis, Traa argues that economic policy in Curaçao should be focused on both aggregate demand and aggregate supply. Given the high deficit on the current account of the balance of payments, Traa sees little room to stimulate the economy from the demand side. Moreover, in respect of fiscal policy, the speed at which measures are implemented must be taken into account. If we try to adjust fiscal policy too strongly, economic activity could additionally be stalled.

The possibilities for monetary policy actions are also limited, as the NAf is pegged to the US dollar. Furthermore, the economic dynamics of Curaçao and Sint Maarten are different. Sint Maarten’s recession is V-shaped and may well be in a recovery phase already, while Curaçao has a structural adjustment path recession (L-shaped).

The focus should, therefore, be on reinforcing aggregate supply in order to boost potential growth. Curaçao should strive towards the implementation of a structural reform plan. These reforms should be focused on making both the labor and product markets, as well as the government apparatus, more efficient and productive. The emphasis should be on a tripartite commitment and flexicurity, i.e., protecting people and not jobs. The government, the labor

unions and the business community should actively work together on defining the structural reform agenda.

With his speech, Mr. Traa intends to stimulate dialogue to achieve a broadly supported structural reform agenda.

Mr. Traa’s presentation can be downloaded from the CBCS website at

Man arrested in ongoing investigation.

arrestedfillin26092014PHILIPSBURG:--- In connection with several ongoing investigations of armed robberies at different Chinese establishments in Sint Peters and surrounding areas, also of Venezuelan nationals living in the area of Sint Peters, police have arrested one of the main suspects identified with initials R.R.R.C. The suspect was arrested on Tuesday, August 20th on Sint Peters road and brought to the Police Headquarters in Philipsburg where he remains in custody for questioning and further investigation. The investigations also include a shooting that took place in the St. Peters area.
Detectives from the Special Unit Robbery are in charge of these investigations and are requesting anyone who may have additional information which can help in these investigations to get in contact with the department to share this information.

KPSM Press Release.

Chamber organizers Grow Your Business Workshop Series. Sign-up for August 29 Workshop.

workshopflyer21082019PHILIPSBURG:---The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) has rolled out another product for its registrants, “Grow Your Business with COCI Workshops,” 2019 Training Courses Series.
In connection with COCI’s 40th anniversary marking its establishment this year, the Chamber is continuously looking at improving its services and products towards the business community, and this is another initiative by the Chamber, Anastacio Baker, Executive Director of COCI said on Wednesday.
The first workshop is scheduled for August 29 and will be given by Edsel Gumbs about the Loan Accession Technique. The workshop will take place at the COCI Conference Room from 7.00PM to 8.30PM.
Each workshop will deal with one specific topic and the topics identified are: Legal matters, Tax affairs, Loan techniques, Customer service, Human resources, Marketing, Financial planning, and Overcoming challenges to success.
Those interested in attending the workshop must register and pay a registration fee. Seating is limited and potential attendees need to register as soon as possible. You can register via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 721-542-3590 for further information.
The other workshops planned are September 26 Legal System for Businesses with Jason Rogers; October 24 Tax System for Businesses, Quincy Lont; November 21 Human Resources, Adelena Chandler-Schaap; December 12 Online Marketing, Member of Parliament Rolando Brison; and January 20 Customer Service, Glen Yeung.
The COCI grow by learning training courses are crucial for personal and professional business development and an opportunity for individuals to acquire new skills, improve their existing knowledge and abilities which allows them to continue to grow their business.
COCI’s goal is for these workshops to serve as tools that will give business owners real and life advice tailored to the current Sint Maarten business environment.

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