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Friday, May 05, 2006 

Friday,May 5, 2006 - Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, N.A

Diversification study results presented to Executive Council

PHILIPSBURG--The preliminary findings of the island’s Economic Diversification Study were presented to the Executive Council Thursday by representatives of SQW International Ltd, the economic and management consulting firm carrying out the study.

Economic Affairs and Tourism Commissioner Theo Heyliger said after the presentation that it was important to look at different sectors of the economy to create and facilitate economic and job opportunities for the local labour market. This will invariably lead to additional income for government that will be used for the continued enhancement of sustainable economic development in St. Maarten, according to a Government Information Service statement (GIS).

The Economic Diversification Study was commissioned by government to ascertain industries that can be explored for economic diversification and to complement the tourism industry.

Head of SQW International, Dr. Kathrin Peters said, “There are some clear messages coming out of the research we have done. We have spoken to about 100 persons, including having workshops among the different stakeholders. There are choices to be made among seven stipulated areas. Some industries have more potential than others, fitting better into the existing economic conditions than others, but each one has some challenges.”

The seven identified areas for diversification are marine activities, agriculture and fisheries, finance and offshore trust, creative industries, logistics and distribution, information technology and call centres, and education.

A stakeholders meeting with SQW will be held in Dr. A.C. Wathey Legislative Hall this morning from 10:00 to 11:30am. The feedback from this session and the one with the Executive Council will be used to fine-tune the final version of the study that is slated for completion in June.

Copyright ©2006 The Daily Herald St.

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