Representatives of three ministries in The Hague last week Thursday, March 31st, attended a presentation about the Saba harbor project.
The Saba delegation, headed by Commissioner Bruce Zagers, gave a presentation to the Ministries of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations (BZK), Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK), and Infrastructure and Water Management (I&W). This week, a second presentation will be given to the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) of the Dutch Government, and a few more civil servants who could not attend the first presentation last week.
The idea was to inform the ministries about the project to construct a new harbor at Black Rocks and upgrade the existing Fort Bay harbor and to get them familiar with the specifics of this project, and affiliated aspects such as economic development, spatial development, and nature management. Commissioner Zagers stated that it was important to create broad knowledge and understanding for this project as the impact on Saba is much more than just an infrastructure project. He noted that involving the other ministries can create funding opportunities to help close the gap in the budget of the harbor project.
While in the Netherlands, the Saba delegation also had a meeting with Ernst & Young (EY) about the Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) of the new harbor and the short- and long-term opportunities of this project, in terms of what it will bring to the island in job creation, tax revenues, increase in tourism and investment possibilities. It was agreed that EY will submit a proposal to do the EIA. Zagers said he expected that the EIA will help to validate the additional funding as the results will show that there will be positive consequences that are related to the other ministries.