Press Release by Chamber of Commerce
Date: Sept 8th 2014
Strategic Conference opened in St. Eustatius
On Monday morning a two day strategic conference was opened by Mr. Koos Sneek, the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce St. Eustatius & Saba. The conference, which is held in the CNSI building, was a combined effort of the Chamber of Commerce and the governments of St. Eustatius and Saba with the goal to start a program to strengthen the SME sector on both islands. Simultaneously the capacity of business support organizations such as the business associations will be increased enabling them to support the SME sector more effectively. Mr. Chris Johnson, commissioners of Economic Affairs of the respective islands also addressed the attendees with their opening remarks. More than forty participants, representing the island’s private and public sectors) such as agriculture, fisheries and tourism were in attendance.
Others in attendance were, Saba’s Island Secretary Menno v.d. Velde together with representatives of the St. Eustatius and Saba Business Association and Saba Merchant Association.
The conference was facilitated by members of CBI, an agency related to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a vast experience in 47 countries worldwide in assisting economies to gain more self-sustainability by strengthening the private sector.
The conference is meant as a starting point of a six to eight month program guided by CBI. Financing for the conference was provided by USONA out of some remaining funds of the SEI program. Other sponsors are the Windward Islands Bank Ltd, NuStar Terminals and EUTEL.
Funding for the remainder of the program in the amount will be secured through the 10th European Development Fund and funding available for economical development by the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations.
The discussion resulted in at least seven project ideas in areas such as agriculture and fisheries, transport and tourism. With the assistance of CBI at least three viable projects will be identified and a trajectory will be started to get these realized.
To secure the commitment of all parties at the end of the conference an MOU was be signed between the Chamber of Commerce, the governments of St. Eustatius and Saba, the St. Eustatius and Saba Business Association and the Saba merchant Association.