Final programme ready for SMILE networking event | THE DAILY HERALD


PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) has released its final programme for the business conference SMILE set for Friday and Saturday. Professional Participants coming from businesses and many non-governmental organisations have a wide selection of 16 workshops and five keynote speakers.

Keynote speakers are from the World Bank on the NRRP procurement process; Aruba’s 360 Degrees of Innovation on the future of work; St. Maarten Yacht Club will present its vision for Heineken Regatta and the official launch of the Waste2Work programme.

Four workshop rounds will provide insights on innovation, sustainability and professional development. Many of those are provided by expert Sint Maarten professionals sharing their extensive knowledge of doing business both on island and abroad. The full schedule is available on both and

SMILE is an innovative networking event for businesses and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s), intended to provide more clarity on World Bank tenders, as well as highlighting “How things can be done differently after Irma’ – most notably more sustainable and innovative. SHTA organizes the event in conjunction with its partners ORCO Bank, Global Resourcing, Chamber of Commerce and Industry (COCI), University St. Martin and 360 Degrees of Innovation.

To promote more local access and understanding to the World Bank Procurement process, a free World Bank procurement masterclass for companies not able to attend SMILE is provided immediately following the event–5.30pm at University of St. Martin (USM).

SHTA, COCI, ORCO Bank and 360° of Innovation all contributed to the successful “Build Back Better Week” event of last March. Build Back Better Week focused on developing concepts for a better Sint Maarten post-Irma – as an opportunity to make significant changes to our country. Its successor SMILE will focus on the practical side of innovation and offer networking opportunities for individuals, companies and NGOs.

In order to continue to promote linkages, a SMILE National Business Card will be launched immediately following the event. This digital Business Card catalogue will serve as a reference guide to all foreign entities seeking a local partner to do business with; thus, showcasing Sint Maarten companies and NGOs.

Some 75 organizations will be present, and 220 delegates have registered to SMILE.

Interested companies can contact the SMILE project office via or call 542-0108.

Source: The Daily Herald