Although the island territory has lost a major opportunity to boost the economy for about 2 to 4 years with the withdrawal of the NuStar expansion, we need to realize that all is not lost. As much of a set back this may have been for some, there is still much opportunities to be had for those businesses as well as the would be entrepreneurs and citizens alike that would have taken advantage of the chance to be part of the construction of the NuStar expansion. One thing may have been overlooked by many is the fact that even if the NuStar expansion had been built, the question would of been for many after the 2 to 4 yrs: ” What Next???? ”
Under the current circumstances there are no major projects in sight. The question is what do we do now that the NuStar expansion is gone from the table. Statia has several areas of potential and opportunities for economical growth. As stated by some of the Dutch chamber members in reaction to the NuStar announcement, they are happy that the NuStar expansion has been cancelled and would ask the Dutch government to seek means to help stimulate the islands’ economy. Based on those comments they know what we need.
It should not be because of the loss of an economical boost such as NuStar that the Dutch Ministers can all of a sudden realize that the infrastructure of the island requires their attention in providing help and assistance. We should have been already underway with this !!!!!!!!!! At the same time the local government needs to act “NOW” on those comments in these dire times and put the proper instruments in place and utilize the available resources in as much as possible. Easier said than done, however appropriate action has to be taken at this juncture to employ those seeking long term employment.
With serious vision and planning, the government of Statia should more than likely step to the Dutch Ministry and outline what the island requires for sustainable development and demand a financial injection in order to make this a reality.
As we are a part of the Dutch Kingdom, special or not special, it should be evident that we are a part of it in terms of infrastructure and also be treated equally as such.
President Chamber of Commerce Statia/Saba