The Economic Development Corporation revived following years of dormancy.

January 11, 2023 4:36 pm

Tamara Leonard appointed as interim director

PHILIPSBURG — The Government-owned company, Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has been revived after a decade of dormancy. The recently published Investment and Diversification Policy outlined that given the financial challenges of the Government, it is recommended that an investment promotion entity is designated to take lead in proactively targeting investors recognizing the National Development Vision.

The EDC was incorporated in 1998 to assist Government in facilitating economic growth and with its reactivation, the EDC will focus on attracting foreign direct investments and facilitating and promoting existing investments to retain and expand in-country operations. It will also critically assess the current investment climate and look at areas where reform is needed.

Acting Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunication (TEATT), the Honorable Omar Ottley, said, " A revitalized Economic Development Corporation N.V. (EDC), will be an important vehicle for the country to attract foreign direct investment and be responsible for developing an economic strategy to assist Government in meeting its revenue goals to move the country forward. Whilst also improving the global image and geopolitical influence of Sint Maarten."

Former Member of Parliament, businessperson, and former member of the Supervisory Board of Directors for the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ms. Tamara Leonard, has been appointed the Interim Managing Director of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

The Interim - Minister of TEATT, Minister Ottley finalized Leonard’s appointment this week following the successful outcome of a recruitment process.

Minister Ottley said the appointment of the new Interim Managing Director would lead to the simultaneous resignation of the current Managing Director Ms. Ursula Biabiani, who was attached to the EDC for the past twelve (12) years. Ms Biabiani has pledged her support and assistance with a smooth transition to reactivating the EDC.

Leonard, who has experience with Foreign Direct Investment and is a former Director of Human Resources at the Westin Hotel, will help her team realign the EDC to accomplish political, economic, and social objectives for Sint Maarten. The major objective is putting in place a program to attract and retain investors and stimulate economic growth.

Other areas of interest for the EDC include Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Development (inward and outward), Export promotion, Incentive administration, Special economic zone or industrial park administration, and negotiating international investment agreements (IIA).