PHILIPSBURG, — The Government-owned company,
Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has been revived after a decade of
dormancy. The recently published Investment and Diversification Policy outlined
that given the financial challenges of Government, it is recommended that an
investment promotion entity is designated to take lead in proactively targeting
investors recognizing the National Development Vision.
The EDC was incorporated in 1998 to assist Government
in facilitating economic growth and with its reactivation, the EDC will focus
on attracting foreign direct investments and facilitating and promoting
existing investments to retain and expand in country operations. It will also critically assess the current
investment climate and look at areas where reform is needed.
Acting Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs,
Transportation & Telecommunication (TEATT),
the Honorable Omar Ottley, said, " A revitalized Economic
Development Corporation N.V. (EDC), will be an important vehicle for the
country to attract foreign direct investment and be responsible for developing
economic strategy to assist Government in meeting its revenue goals to move the
country forward. Whilst also improving the global image and geopolitical
influence of Sint Maarten."
Former Member of Parliament, businessperson and former
member of the Supervisory Board of Directors for the St. Maarten Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, Ms. Tamara Leonard, has been appointed the Interim
Managing Director of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
The Interim - Minister of TEATT, Minister Ottley
finalized Leonard’s appointment this week following the successful
outcome of a recruitment process.
Minister Ottley said the appointment of the new
Interim Managing Director would lead to the simultaneous resignation of the
current Managing Director Ms. Ursula Biabiani, who was attached to the EDC for
the past twelve (12) years. Ms Biabiani has pledged her support and assistance
with a smooth transition to reactivating the EDC.
Leonard, who has experience with Foreign Direct
Investment and is a former Director of Human Resources at the Westin Hotel,
will help her team realign the EDC to accomplish political, economic, and
social objectives for Sint Maarten. The
major objective is putting in place a program to attract and retain investors
and stimulate economic growth.
Other areas of interest for the EDC include
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)
Development (inward and outward), Export promotion, Incentive
administration, Special economic zone or industrial park administration, and
negotiating international investment agreements (IIA).