The COCI building.
PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry (COCI) President Benjamin Ortega has issued a call on government-owned companies and institutions to include local businesses in rebuilding opportunities in the country.
The Chamber feels that local businesses could be contracted or sub-contracted to do work on these projects and Ortega wrote a letter to government-owned companies and institutions that will be entering the reconstruction phase post-Irma/Maria within the next six to 12 months to this effect. “Many of these projects whether or not funded by the Reconstruction Fund made available by the Dutch government are seen as a stimulation of the regrowth of our countries economic situation. Some of these projects have already been awarded or are in the final stages of awarding to international companies,” it was stated in a press release.
“It is important that a local company’s contact information is current which would allow international contractors who would like to vet local companies the opportunity to contact them and continue discussions about their involvement in a project of a government-owned company or institution,” the release said.
COCI called on businesses interested in participating in the recovery process to ensure that their registration information about their business is up to date at the Chamber as opportunities unfold during the second half of 2019 and throughout 2020 and 2021.
COCI is also inviting government-owned companies and institutions to contact the Chamber for a list of companies that could fulfil the reconstruction works that they plan to embark upon.
“Local companies are capable with know-how, experience and contacts to carry out certain works and should be given the opportunity to do so. The economic recovery followed by sustainable development of the country’s economy must include the local business sector as part of the inclusive building back better process. The Chamber is here to assist all parties seeking information by gathering and disseminating such information,” the Chamber said.
Ortega said other Chambers in the Dutch Caribbean should take the same stance regarding the concept of inclusion by including as much as possible local based companies to better the participation in the local markets and monitor closely projects that are being developed on their islands to see where home-based businesses can play an inclusive role.
“It is essential that the local business community is part of the process in building working relationships or partnerships with government-owned companies and institutions thereby creating the synergy for new opportunities for the private sector which improves the lives of workers and increases the quality of life of all,” the release said.