PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — On Tuesday February 6, 2018, the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Sint Maarten organized a Round Table Conference “Sustainable Financial Government” with the Netherlands, the World Bank, the IMF and the Cft. The goal of this conference was to get all parties together and have an open dialogue on the way forward to a financial sustainable Sint Maarten and how progress can be achieved in bringing relief to the people of Sint Maarten in the short term.
The main topics discussed was the issue of liquidity support to the government of Sint Maarten, the application of 550 million euro made available by the Netherlands, the benefits of using the professional services offered by the World Bank and the IMF, in collaboration with the Cft. Progress has been made in getting clarity with regards to the completion of the 2017 and 2018 budget process.
The Conference was attended by the Dutch Project Director General of Reconstruction for the Windward Islands, Hans Leijtens, Head of the Representation of the Netherlands in Philipsburg, Chris Johnson, representatives of the World Bank, IMF, Cft and the Government of Sint Maarten. Representing Sint Maarten were the Minister of Finance, Michael Ferrier, with members of his Cabinet, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance, Arno Peels and support staff, the Secretary General of the Ministry of General Affairs, Hensley Plantijn and civil servants from the Department of Foreign Relations. The conference was moderated by former Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Workgroup National Recovery Plan, Dennis Richardson.
Now that there is a shared understanding of the way forward, one of the next steps is for Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo and the Minister of Finance Michael Ferrier to visit the Netherlands to continue these discussions and to strengthen the relationships between the two Kingdom partners. Both the Dutch and St. Maarten delegations are very pleased with the level of progress made in charting the way forward. Minister Ferrier and Project Director General Leijtens thanked all participants for their contribution to the open dialogue and clear communication. They look forward to further collaborations on the different levels to expedite the progress.