COCI urging participation in Build Back Better Week

PHILIPSBURG–The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry (COCI) is urging businesses to participate in Build Back Better (BBB) Week SXM which will be held at Simpson Bay Resort and Marina March 16-20.

The initiative is being organised by Ernst and Young Dutch Caribbean; Centre of Excellence for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) – a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiative based in Aruba; Dutch Caribbean (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Maarten, Saba and Statia) Chamber of Commerce (DCCC); and Presents Your Startup Caribbean.

Following the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the devastation caused, the participating organisations believed they needed to assist with the rebuilding of society, economy and institutions, COCI said in a press release on Thursday.

BBB Week aims to “surface actionable ideas and connections” for a resilient future of St. Maarten. It will consist of a “Do-Tank,” a hack-a-thon-like event to develop actions whereby stakeholders in sustainable tourism, entrepreneurship and renewable energy can participate in creating a more resilient future for St. Maarten and other islands affected by natural disasters. This event will take place March 16-18. The participation fee for local companies or participants is NAf. 25 or US $14.

DCCC and Present Your Startup Caribbean are organising a “Do-Trade” event in St. Maarten during the BBB Week which will be a trade mission consisting of matchmaking and networking sessions. Local companies will get the opportunity to meet and partner with other companies during the trade mission.

This event will be free for local businesses, but they must be registered as participants. This event will also be the kick-off of a cross-border cooperation among the Dutch Caribbean Chambers. The Do Trade will take place on March 19, starting at 9:00am. DCCC is encouraging all interested companies to join the trade mission, while Present Your Startup Caribbean will join with investors and startups from the Netherlands.

“It’s really in the spirit of a little less conversation, a little more action, that we are organising the Do-Tank,” Centre of Excellence Manager Arno Boersma said. “With a great diversity of stakeholders, I am sure we’ll see great ideas that are also feasible to implement, and we are ready to share them with other SIDS around the world.”

EY Dutch Caribbean Office Managing Partner Bryan Irausquin said building a better future for the people of St. Maarten starts by asking better questions that lead to better answers. “This is exactly what we intend to do with creative minds during the Do-Tank. Moreover, we are calling this event a Do-Tank as proof of our commitment to St. Maarten that the answers will also lead to actions and results that boost the sustainable development of St. Maarten,” he said.

“We as the Dutch Caribbean Chamber of Commerce are excited about this opportunity. This will be a great platform to not only help the St. Maarten business community to get on its feet quicker, but it will also increase ties between Kingdom businesses,” said DCCC President Billy Jonckheer.

“This is a great feeling to see that all the Dutch Caribbean Chambers of Commerce and organisations within the kingdom all coming together to assist with the rebuilding of our economy,” said COCI Executive Director Anastacio Baker. ““This is an opportunity for our local businesses to meet, network and form partnerships with other businesses within the kingdom.”

A number of companies and investors have already registered and confirmed attending.

Businesses interested can register online at .

They can also follow them on Facebook: .

Source: The Daily Herald