Joint Task force Saba & Statia to tackle bottlenecks

Better services provided by banks. Easier access to a notary. These are two of the topics that the task force Bottlenecks Caribbean Netherlands is working on. State Secretary Alexandra Van Huffelen of Kingdom Relations and representatives of the public entities Saba and St. Eustatius made agreements about this on Wednesday 14 September.

“During my visits to the Caribbean Netherlands, I have heard from many people how incredibly difficult it is that, for example, no notary is properly available. Or that there is little to choose from in terms of bank and even pinning is sometimes very complicated. These are problems for which we must find a solution. They make life difficult and they stand in the way of good economic development,” says State Secretary Van Huffelen. 

That is the aim of the task force: to solve bottlenecks that stand in the way of further sustainable economic development.

Bruce Zagers, island commissioner of the public entity Saba: “The topics that will be addressed by the task force have been seen as bottlenecks for several years. These concerns have been addressed many times by the island government and the Saba Business Association, without much or any success. This is therefore a momentous opportunity, as finally these problems will be addressed with some urgency from the ministries with the hope that pragmatic solutions will be forthcoming in a timely manner. Having access to proper banking services, or something as simple as having a postal code, may often get lost on the political agenda in The Hague, however, these are vital for the day-to-day operations of our developing island. I am quite pleased to see the formalization of this task force and the commitment to finally address these challenges.”

Working together

Claudia Toet, Deputy Government Commissioner of the public entity St. Eustatius: “Recently, the notarial services on St. Eustatius and Saba have been restarted. We are very happy with this service which is necessary for the islands. We will work well together in the task force to ensure the sustainability of services on the islands in the long term. In doing so, we look at all services that are crucial for the development of St. Eustatius.” 

The problems that the task force will deal with are often complex and require a joint approach by all parties involved. That is why it was decided to set up this joint task force to produce an action plan by the end of this year. 

The public entity Bonaire participates in this task force as an ‘agenda member’ and is thus involved in the initiatives of the task force.

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