St. Maarten first stop of Van Huffelen’s 6-day trip

Dutch State Secretary for King­dom Relations and Digi­tisation Alexandra van Huffelen arrived in St. Maarten on Thursday. St. Maarten is her first stop on a trip to five Dutch Carib­bean islands, which ends on July 4.

The state secretary will visit Saba after St. Maarten, followed by St. Eustatius, then to Curacao and finally Aruba. She will attend the Emancipation Day events on July 1 in St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius.

With the prime minis­ters and other members of government of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten, Van Huffelen will discuss, among other things, the refinancing of the liquidity support loans and the prog­ress of the country pack­ages. In all three countries, she will visit several proj­ects that focus on the coun­tries’ sustainable economic development.

In St. Maarten, the state secretary will open the local office of the World Bank. The World Bank manages the St. Maarten Trust Fund with the means that the Dutch government made available for St. Maarten’s reconstruction after the September 2017 Hurricane Irma.

Van Huffelen will also visit the GEBE plant in connec­tion with investments in sustainable energy. On Sat­urday morning, July 1, she will be present at the cul­tural activities for Emanci­pation Day in Philipsburg. The state secretary will go to Saba that same morning on July 1 for the Emancipa­tion Day event in The Bot­tom and on to St. Eustatius in the evening of July 1 to attend the Emancipation Day manifestation in Oran­jestad. On both islands, the state secretary will give a speech.

On July 2, Curacao cel­ebrates its national day, “Dia di Bandera” (Flag Day), with cultural activi­ties throughout the island. Van Huffelen will attend a part of these activities in Band’abou, the western part and a few other places. Aside from meetings with various members of the Curacao government, the itinerary includes a visit to the floating wind park, a floating offshore wind park which in time will produce sustainable energy that will be turned into green hydro­gen.

In Aruba, the state secre­tary meets with the Aruba Fair Trade Authority about the setting up of a fair-trade authority for Aruba which has to see to competition regulations and consumer rights. In addition, she will pay a visit to the foreign­ers’ detention facility and meet with the United Na­tions High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Aruba Minister of Justice Rocco Tjon.

The Daily Herald.

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