Nineteenth Vice-President of the COM
Madam Chairperson, Dear Colleagues, Members of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen, Hello! My turn has come to present my wishes for this new year, hopeful vows for the economy of our territory in 2015. First of all the new year brings us good news, with this record of the euro which at the beginning of the year has reached its lowest level since 2006, returning under the 1 $ 20. Decrease initiated for months, and which should continue in 2015. This return to a weaker euro is obviously favorable to our economy. In 2008, the euro had reached its highest level at about 1 $ 60 and has since held itself between 1 $ 30 and 1 $ 40. Consumption has naturally been carried over massively on the Dutch side, to the detriment of our traders. I am hopeful that things will gradually rebalance. The euro is now trading around 1 $ 10 in exchange offices.
Consumers have less interest now to change their salary and will return to spend their euros on the French side. This new situation will take a little more time to reach our tourists, we will together have to communicate to their attention on this rediscovered balance. But they too will come back more easily to consume with us when they realize that we have become again a "dollar-friendly" destination. The second good news for 2015 is the large 2014 projects that will be realized or finalized in 2015. I am referring, of course, to the development of Marigot Bay. This morning, I read in the press that boating is going well, good news for this particularly buoyant sector, which generates activity and direct and indirect employment.
The grouping around the firm Ricochin, awarded the AMO, is currently carrying out the specifications that should result in a finalized program of the 1er quarter 2015. Obviously followed by the necessary steps to launch a contracting procedure from the second quarter onwards 2015 for a period of approximately one year. I am also thinking of the development of downtown Marigot, parallel to Marigot Bay and in the same logic, the plan of revitalization has just been entrusted by mandate to the group led by the Semsamar. An initial phase of the state of Marigot has already started.
The development phase of the revitalization project is expected to be completed in the second semester of 2015. I am also thinking of the AW34 plot on the eastern bay, which will benefit from a general development being studied and which will be carried out at the end of the season. Start of work planned for early 2015 for delivery at the start of the season, before the 2015-2016 season. Finally, concerning the digital development, the Master Plan is under way with the help of the Tactis firm. This scheme will be completed at the end of the first quarter 2015. It will enable the Community, in conjunction with the operators, to launch funding applications for the deployment of very high-speed broadband to the support fund for the digital economy and the ERDF this year. All these projects are carried out in consultation with the population and professionals. Information and consultation will be accentuated throughout the year.
In terms of tourism, 2014 ended with the announcement of the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba. This long awaited news will necessarily impact tourism in the Caribbean in the years to come. We will have to take this new factor into account and orient our decisions accordingly. In line with the tourism budget guidelines presented in December 2014, 2015 is the year of the revision of the territorial planning and tourism development plan of Saint Martin in order to prepare the tourist future of the 5 next years. The preparation of this new programming for the 2015-2020 period will be the occasion for a consultation of the socio-professionals in the framework of the organization of the second Territorial Tourism Conference in order to take into account the expectations and ambitions of those Which contribute to make our territory a tourist territory. The tourism strategy, which can not be separated from the Marigot waterfront project and the downtown revitalization project, will also take into consideration the work undertaken in order to create a coherent and efficient development dynamic while at the same time serving Of these two projects by the definition of a trademark of territory. In the other economic sectors, the Community will have to update, according to a methodology similar to Tourism, the agricultural development plan (AGENA study commissioned by the CCISM in 2011) and launch the economic development plan (based on the " The KPMG study commissioned by the CCISM in 2013), and to validate the strategic choices in line with the Community's priorities in these areas.
In 2015, the Collectivity accompanied by new financial partnerships (ERDF, BPI in particular) will strengthen its actions to accompany the economic world. By participating more and better to the financing of companies: The community support system backed by the new PO 2014-2020 will complement the financing of projects in areas considered as priorities by the Community (tourism, agriculture, fisheries, ICT , Audiovisual production, etc.). The Community will continue to support micro-projects and will support the VSEs by helping to operate structures such as the St Martin Initiative or the new Federation of VSEs. The Community will also accompany the enterprises by means of conventional equipment grants but also through new aid such as advances repayable to serve as working capital. A new export aid fund delegated to the CCISM will also be implemented at the beginning of 2015 to accompany local companies wishing to export, the partnership agreement having been signed in December with the services of the State, the Inter- And UBIFRANCE in particular.
Finally, a new financial partner will be closely associated with the financing of the companies, namely the Public Investment Bank, which will be put to the effective service of Saint-Martin in 2015. In 2014, the Community has begun the reorganization of the services leading to the creation of a new directorate within the Economic Development Pole, namely the Directorate for Rural and Marine Development. Rural development will fall into 2 objectives: The first concerns the livestock sector. The slaughterhouse will actually start its activity in 2015. On the one hand, the aim is to optimize the profitability of the operation of the slaughterhouse thanks to the aid allowing the increase of livestock and the improvement of zootechnical performances. On the other hand, to enhance the carcasses leaving the slaughterhouse by cutting and organizing the marketing of meat products. This will eventually increase the income of the breeder. The diversification of agricultural activities, which, in addition to new training schemes and new aid for the establishment of farmers, is oriented towards the development of new activities such as the beekeeping sector.
The second objective concerns the development of marine resources. The objective for the 2015 year is to create the necessary and indispensable conditions for the development of fisheries. It is a question of implementing all the actions allowing the structuring of this sector. The first act is the strengthening of the representativeness of marine structures through the establishment of a fisheries committee. Follow-up of the creation of two landing points - the first located in Marigot and the second in the context of a project around the fish pond in Quartier d'Orléans - and a technical fishing zone. It should be noted that the majority of the above actions involve co-financing mainly from European funds (EAFRD and EMFF). The share of the lender may range from 50 to 85%.
In Conclusion, the Community is also committed at the end of the year in a strong action in favor of the competitiveness of our companies, facing the mechanisms favorable to the overseas departments, resulting from the pact of responsibility. Alternatives to the viable CICE are sought from the state so that our companies are treated fairly. My last words will be addressed directly to the economic actors to try modestly to give them hope in the future. 2014 will have been a year of launching actions and projects on our territory, 2015 will see the first important achievements in economic matters. With a favorable market conditions, you should start reaping the rewards of your perseverance. I wish you all a Happy New Year and prosperity.
Thank you, Wendel COCKS