CARe-KINE business summit to explore possibilities to invest in the Dutch Caribbean

  • Written by admin
  • 18 March 2013 at 21:39
  • June 27, 2012 8:47 AM

    More than fifty Dutch companies and bureaus showed up at Friday’s CARe-KINE business summit to explore possibilities to invest in the Dutch Caribbean. CAReKINE stands for Kingdom of The Netherlands and the Caribbean Region.

    Company representatives, mostly project managers and sometimes directors, were especially interested in investment opportunities on all islands in the areas of infrastructure, housing, water and electricity, sustainable energy and transport. Representatives of the six islands all did their best to sell their product, telling the investors what they had to offer and why they would be the best choice. The three autonomous overseas countries sent their three Ministers Plenipotentiary: Edwin Abath of Aruba, Humphrey Senior (Deputy) of Curaçao and Mathias Voges of St. Maarten.
    National Government Representative (Rijksvertegenwoordiger) Wilbert Stolte for the Dutch public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba gave a presentation together with Statia Commissioner Koos Sneek. The various islands brought along teams to facilitate individual talks with the potential investors.
    Mathias Voges presented St. Maarten as a totally tax-free zone with great potential to become a hub for goods from Europe destined for neighbouring islands and the rest of the Caribbean. He said that the island was uniquely located at the crossroads between Europe, the United States and Latin America/the Caribbean. Voges mentioned St. Maarten’s potential as a major tourism destination. He said St. Maarten was working on a national development plan and that government was looking at developing other sectors besides tourism, such as the financial sector, higher education and agriculture.
    Commissioner Sneek summed up the potential in St. Eustatius and the status of the island’s economic development which he said was “just in the beginning stage.” He mentioned the 14-million-barrel storage facility NuStar and the still existing plan to expand the capacity by some 2.5 million barrels along with the construction of a new jetty. Sneek said tourism was at a “rather embryonic stage” with a mere 75 hotel rooms, divided between six small properties. He said government was currently negotiating with two potential hotel investors, while one of the existing properties had plans for expansion. Sneek elaborated on the preparation of the airport master plan which includes a new terminal building and a possible expansion of the runway; the possible relocation of the commercial part of the harbour away from the Lower Town area and the expansion plans of the medical school. There is also the pending formation of a knowledge centre in cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science; the new electricity company; construction of a wind farm; exploration of geothermal energy; the nearly completed water distribution network and the establishment of a fibre optic cable. Developing real estate is another great potential.
    National Government Representative Stolte told potential investors at the summit that Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba had “unique selling points” as they are part of the Dutch Constellation. As part of The Netherlands the islands have good facilities, (legal) security, Dutch laws and a stabile political climate. There is a lot of construction volume with many projects in the pipeline or just having started. (… etc.)
    Source: The Daily Herald 2012-06-25 /