Minister Ottley discusses cheaper food supply options during visit in Dominican Republic

PHILIPSBURG-Acting Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunication (TEATT) for St. Maarten Omar Ottley is currently in the Dominican Republic, attending the 28th annual Florida – Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) conference. Although the conference is based on cruise tourism, Minister Ottley found it prudent to establish a Dominican Republic / St. Maarten Agricultural trading portal to create an affordable local market of agricultural commodities.

Minister Ottley and his delegation from the Ministry of TEATT met with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Affairs and International Cooperation Mr. Hugo Rivera Fernandez and the Agribusiness board representatives to inquire about the Dominican Republic’s ability to supply St. Maarten with agricultural products.  

“The Ministry is in process of determining what products  should be imported to St. Maarten as soon as possible. This is especially important to protect the small but growing Agricultural produce supply in our country ,” said Ottley.  

Stakeholder discussions

On his return, the Ministry will commence discussions with local stakeholders in the supermarket, wholesale and retail divisions to determine the level of interest in importing produce from the Dominican Republic at competitive prices for resale.  

“Once we can get this supply channel going, it means our people can buy high-quality products at the lowest possible cost. This is especially important during an economically challenging period for every household on the island,” said Ottley.

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