Economic development in Saint-Martin: At what price?

Economic development in Saint-Martin: At what price?

Saint-Martin island a gift from God. Why do we want our island to embody the French ideal? This island has a story, traditions, habits, customs etc. Why can’t we combine our traditions with economic development? Why should we be forced to give up on one or the other? We are part of the French territories as Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion etc… The difference between those island and us is that though they are part of France, they have never abandoned nor their culture nor their history. We, on the contrary, are loosing everyday more our history. I personally learned about my island by doing researches and not at school. I think the generations that came after mine have got the same problems.

Saint-Martin has economic and social problems. We cannot do big economic steps on our island without improving the existing social conditions. We need a greater social cohesion and comprehension on behalf of all those who live on this island ( Saint-Martener or not). To achieve this, we have to learn to work with other people. It is not by being narrow minded that we will ever be able to make our island develop itself. We are extremely late by many aspects in French Saint-Martin and it is surely not by blaming others that we will ever succeed. Let us seek the mistake because generations pass and the problem remains. We need a change of mentalities. The oldest members of our island should understand that we are in the 21st century and that, as such, it is more than necessary to be able to work with others. We also need a greater participation of young people so to fight delinquency because bad luckily, and this worldwide, it is often the lack of education and social exclusion that leads to delinquency. I think that this part is not just a matter of the police or of a family, this is something that we fight as a people. I was shocked the first time I realized that in Saint-Martin we have people whom, though you do not see them begging on the road , live with hardly one Euro each day. Fighting poverty even when hidden is urgent for both the economic and social stability of our island.

Working on an economic procedure to make our island function better is necessary but is valid only if it works on a long-term. What would it serve for to take decisions that would be valid only for today and get back the same or worst problems tomorrow? Tourism, yes but unfortunately it works only when the world’s economy or that of some countries is well. It is an very uncertain base for the economy of a country and I think that right now, in French Saint-Martin, we are seeing it. We cannot always run according to tourism we have to find complementary sectors for our economy to run even when tourism is down. We need to use new trends and work on improving through them our island. We cannot just say we will follow what others do. Becoming a mini St-Tropez as others say? No. Definitely not or maybe with a certain limits for two reasons: firstly, contrarily to St-Barths we are two countries in one and secondly we already have too many social disparities, adding more would be a suicide. We cannot just develop without thinking about the outcome on the long-term. And furthermore what is the pleasure for someone to visit something that is a fake image. I have been to Morocco and to different places and I was just absolutely disgusted of the place because of the population’s poverty compare to the richness of the country. Social disparities are a cancer for countries. Of course, you have people who love it but to be honest I do not see how you can feel happy when you visit an image and nothing authentic.

We need dialogue and debates. I admit that too many dialogue can harm creativity but nothing constructive can be done without a minimum of debates. I think it would be interesting to create a group like a think-thank with open-minded people from different sectors of activity. A group including a member of government whose role would be exclusively saying what is possible at the government’s level and keeping the group informed, a few people who know about the business world and whom have a good understanding of it, a few who know and are passionate of SXM, its people and its history, some for the protection of nature, a banker, a lawyer, a well informed social worker. Their work drawing up a competitive plan for our island. I know this is probably an explosive mix and probably a little utopian but I am convinced that such mix would bring up the best result for our island. I would limit governmental presence to one or two people because too many personal and political interest would be involved (To me politics has nothing to do in economy). I would limit each sector to maximum two or three people elected or not. The objective is that whatever they decide would have to be either voted or according to how good it is be implemented. Sometimes we have too many talking and too many negative minds that’s why I specify only open-minded and creative people. One thing I am formally against is crazy follow faction development. We have a beautiful island let us promote it and protect it. Not just construct crazily.

Now tell me what do you think about it? What is your opinion?


2 thoughts on “Economic development in Saint-Martin: At what price?

    1. Hi!

      You are welcomed but it’s me to say thanks for reading my publications. Besides English is still one of our native languages in St-Maarten/St-Martin. 😀

      Have a great day!

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