Spurring entrepreneurship in Sint Maarten
In December 2020, Sint Maarten and the Netherlands agreed on the Sint Maarten Country Package. Research of SEO Amsterdam Economics (SEO), in collaboration with Amsterdam Bureau for Economics (EBA) and Tackling Law have resulted in five priority policy packages. These packages contain corresponding policy measures that address these bottlenecks and issues that Sint Maarten can take in the short, medium and long term to integrally and substantially improve the ease of doing business.
The Sint Maarten Country Package contains measures and reforms in different areas. Hence, this research into the business climate does not stand alone. The Country Package contains multiple research projects in other parts thereof that are also relevant to the business climate. This includes the labor market (E.1), taxes (C.1), spatial planning (E.7) and the effectiveness of the public sector (B.4). In this report, the focus is on recommendations on increasing the ease of doing business, promoting entrepreneurship, and improving the functioning of markets in Sint Maarten.
Desk research and interviews with entrepreneurs were conducted to identify the main bottlenecks and issues in the World Bank factors. This has resulted in six policy packages with corresponding policy measures that address these bottlenecks and issues that Sint Maarten can take in the short, medium and long term to integrally and substantially improve the ease of doing business. The six packages are:
- Optimize and modernize the licensing system;
- Digitalize and centralize all licensing procedures and digitalize tax payment office;
- Bolster entrepreneurial (access to) knowledge and skills;
- Increase access to finance and financial market integrity;
- Improve effectiveness of product and service markets; and
- Foster entrepreneurship through pro-entrepreneurship fiscal and labour market arrangements.
Because it is impossible to tackle all bottlenecks identified and implement these policy packages at the same time, a prioritization has been made based on feasibility, impact, costs and support. This results in the elaboration of the packages 1-5. The five priority projects are the starting point for the implementation of proposed reforms, and together constitute the Program ‘Improving business and investment climate Sint Maarten’, which can be implemented between 2022 and 2024. In addition, for successful implementation of the proposed reforms, an effective governance structure is required. We propose a governance structure that makes clear how responsibilities for implementation, support, management, monitoring, reporting, commissioning, escalation and ultimate responsibility are organized.
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