PANAMA–Member of Parliament Claret Connor took time out from his meetings of the Latin American Parliament Parlatino last week to build on the Kingdom’s presence in Panama by exploring the opportunities for trade and tourism between that country and St. Maarten.
Connor of the United People’s (UP) party met with Dutch Kingdom Ambassador to Panama Dirk Janssen who is very much interested in re-establishing and capitalising on the economic opportunities and ties that were initiated with St. Maarten.
Those ties were established by then Ambassador Wiebe de Boer, who was the Keynote Speaker at the Business Innovations Symposium hosted by the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry in November 2013. At that time Connor was Director of the Chamber of Commerce and had made in-road in this area. He updated Janssen on the progress made at that time.
Janssen accepted an invitation extended by Connor to travel to St. Maarten later this year to meet with the private sector to get first-hand knowledge of the types of collaborative initiatives the Embassy and St. Maarten businesses can capitalise on and realise with Panama.
Janssen indicated that with St. Maarten cruise tourism being as successful as reported, he would be interested in looking into cruise tourism links between Panama and St. Maarten.
Connor said in a press statement that he wants Janssen to view St. Maarten’s infrastructure and understand the advantages that exist based on the country’s geographic location, which is “prime for the exploitation as a sub-hub and transhipment feeder to and from the North Eastern Caribbean and Europe.”
“Our airlift and maritime service possibilities in the region are second to none,” said Connor.
The two officials also discussed the possibility of St. Maarten hosting the annual conference of Dutch Kingdom Ambassadors to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018.