Mar 02

Dutch Kingdom private sector and NGO’s getting together to help the economy of St.Maarten and increase cooperation between the islands


Build Back Better week on St.Maarten from

March 16th till March 20th 2018

Organized by Ernst&Young Dutch Caribbean, Centre of Excellence for SIDS (UNDP), the Dutch Caribbean Chambers of Commerce and Present Your Startup Caribbean

Willemstad– Recent natural disasters have had a devastating effect on islands around the world. It is key for a wide array of stakeholders to collaborate to find solutions to build more resilient island futures and prevent history from repeating itself.

After the destruction by hurricanes Irma and Maria, St. Maarten and nearby islands started rebuilding their society, economy, and institutions; any available help is more than welcome. For this reason, the Centre of Excellence for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) -a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiative based in Aruba- and EY Dutch Caribbean are organizing the “Build Back Better Week SXM”. This independent, inclusive BBB Week aims to surface actionable ideas and connections for a resilient future of St. Maarten.

The BBB Week consists of a “Do-Tank”, a hackathon-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 from March 16-18, 2018.

Next to that, The Dutch Caribbean Chambers of Commerce and Present Your Startup Caribbean are organizing a “Do-Trade” event in St. Maarten during the BBB Week which will be a Trade mission consisting of training-, matchmaking- and networking sessions. This event will also be the kick off of a cross border cooperation among the Dutch Chambers. The Do Trade will take place on the 19th of March 2018. The Dutch Caribbean Chambers are encouraging all interested

companies to join this 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 organizing the Do-Tank”, explains Arno Boersma, Manager of the Center of Excellence. “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.” Bryan Irausquin, Office Managing Partner of EY Dutch Caribbean, adds that “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 intent 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”.

“We at the Dutch Caribbean Chamber of Commerce (DCCC) are exited 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,” according to Billy Jonckheer president of DCCC.

Anyone interested in aforementioned topics is invited to join and contribute to the BBB Week.

Build Back Better Week SXM, with the combination of a Do-Tank and Do-Trade promises to make a great contribution to a more resilient future for St. Maarten. Don’t hesitate to join us!

Details about the BBB SXM Week can be found on our website. You can also follow us on Facebook.

For more info or inquiries, please contact:

  • Centre of Excellence for SIDS Aruba (Arno Boersma; +297 740 8211)
  • EY Dutch Caribbean – Curacao (Axel de Vries; +5999 430 5000)
  • Dutch Caribbean Chambers of Commerce (Kirsten Römer; +5999 461 1451)
  • Present Your Startup Caribbean (Valerie Vallenduuk; +31 4673 0993)

Or you can contact us.

Download the flyer