PHILIPSBURG—The United People’s UP Party has confirmed that former Interim CEO for Port St. Maarten Roger Lawrence will be its newest Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunication TEATT in the Council of Ministers beginning August 26th.
Lawrence replaces former TEATT Minister Ludmila De Weever who resigned her post last week to take her position as Member of Parliament. De Weever will be filling the seat left vacant when MP Ottley, now Minister of Health, joined the Council of Ministers earlier this year. Ottley will stand in as Acting TEATT Minister for around ten (10) days until the new Minister officially takes office.
Since he completed his screening a few weeks ago, Lawrence has been working closely with the UP Party and Board to discuss the agenda for his governing period. The focus for the Ministry will be economic stimulation and revitalization of the island’s tourism product.
The UP Board issued a press release confirming Lawrence new position. It stated that Lawrence is scheduled to be sworn in as Minister on August 26th.
According to the release, “Economic activity and managing the overall tourism product on St. Maarten is critical especially at a time when COVID-19 dominates economic decisions throughout the world. The person taking on the responsibility of being TEATT Minister must understand the need to act now to restore investor confidence in our Island and get long-awaited projects off the ground, while balancing the islands economic reality with the health needs of its citizens.”
The incoming Minister is “a Son of the soil” and brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise in the area of Tourism and Economic Affairs. He graduated from Haarlem business school in the Netherlands where he completed a bachelor of economics degree with a concentration in tourism management in 2008. He also holds a Business degree from Kutztown University in 2007 and was Port Certified Executive by the Mac Donnell Firm in 2014. Lawrence also recently completed a Port Senior Management Degree in 2018 in Israel.
“The Country needs its brightest and best to take bold and necessary measures to address the many pressing issues that have contributed to the stagnation of economic activity on St. Maarten and we are confident that Minister Lawrence will lead his Ministry well into a brighter future for the benefit of all St. Maarteners,” stated the UP Board.
Meanwhile former Minister de Weever will become Member of Parliament MP de Weever. The UP Board stated, “We would like to express our sincere thanks to incoming MP de Weever for her tireless contribution to the stabilizing of our island during a very difficult time in the history of the world. History will measure the performance of every country’s economy around the globe with an understanding of the challenges posed by COVID-19 and St. Maarten is no exception. We believe that she will follow her heart as a Member of Parliament and work towards achieving the greater good for St. Maarten and we wish her much success.”