Cayhill, Sint Maarten, December 1, 2023: In response to the recent performance audit of the St. Maarten Investment Agency (SMIA) issued by the General Audit Chamber, the Algemeen Pensioenfonds Sint Maarten (APS) reaffirms its commitment to addressing past challenges and setting a new strategic direction for investment in Sint Maarten. While acknowledging the insights and recommendations from the audit, APS is focused on enhancing local market opportunities and sustainable development as a path forward.
In 2017, the former APS board initiated the development of an investment entity aimed at supporting and advising both public and private sectors in Sint Maarten. This initiative, particularly driven by the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, aimed to facilitate investment projects that would contribute positively to the local community.
However, in 2022, the current APS board faced significant challenges with this entity. Difficulties in realizing profitable investments for both Sint Maarten and APS participants emerged due to the complex structure and unforeseen costs of the entity. As highlighted in the report from the General Audit Chamber, these issues led to delays in the completion of annual reports for 2021 and 2022 and, unfortunately, to financial losses. The board acknowledges these setbacks with a commitment to learning and evolving from these experiences.
In response, the APS board has undertaken a thorough reassessment, leading to the transformation of the previous entity into the Sint Maarten Investment Company (SMIC). SMIC, built on the foundation of the initial setup, is now spearheaded by a specialized and experienced directorate, bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the Dutch Caribbean’s investment landscape.
SMIC’s mission extends to developing new investment opportunities and enhancing the management of APS’s existing properties, such as Mary’s Fancy and other significant assets. These endeavors aim to maximize their profitability and stimulate economic growth in Sint Maarten. Concurrently, the APS board is diligently finalizing SMIC’s legal framework and formalizing new, transparent processes for investment assessments.
This strategic redirection aligns with APS’s mandate from the Central Bank to invest 60 percent of its assets locally, with a particular focus on Curacao and Sint Maarten. Despite previous challenges, the APS board is optimistic about the potential of an entity wholly dedicated to the local market. A professional and streamlined approach, the board believes, is key to fostering a successful and profitable local investment portfolio.
Moving forward, APS remains steadfast in its commitment to transparency, accountability, and strategic, sustainable local investment. We are confident that the establishment of SMIC and these strategic changes will be instrumental in driving economic growth and prosperity in Sint Maarten.