U.S. Consulate-Sponsored Delegation from Sint Maarten Strengthens Ties During Atlanta Visit
From June 12-16, a delegation from Sint Maarten, sponsored by the U.S. Consulate, concluded a successful visit to Atlanta, Georgia. The visit not only strengthened economic and cultural ties between the island and the city but also created exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs. The delegation, led by Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion and officials from the Consulate, also included Ife Badejo, CEO of Islandpreneur, and four talented young entrepreneurs who won Sint Maarten’s National Youth Pitch Competition.
During the visit to Atlanta, the delegation participated in a series of impactful engagements with key organizations, officials, and institutions including the Mayor’s office, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Invest Atlanta, and the Rotary Club of Atlanta. The delegation was eager to learn how Atlanta dramatically expanded the Orange economy to become one of the most sought-after cities for film and entertainment. Conversations also focused on ways to better facilitate trade between the island and the state.
The delegation spoke with founders and investors at organizations and universities devoted to fostering entrepreneurs and encouraging the growth of the fintech sector such as Atlanta Tech Village, the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), and the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, a unique business generator and innovation lab for Black-owned businesses. The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) offered a tour of campus and insight into Create-X, Georgia Tech’s primer entrepreneurship accelerator, allowing the delegation to watch university students pitch and receive feedback in real time. The group also toured Georgia State University’s Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII) to learn how it builds connections between students and those in the entertainment industry through advanced technology workforce training and collaboration with industry partners.
Cultural connections also played an important role during the visit. The delegation paid tribute to the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. by visiting the King Center and the house where he was born, connecting with Atlanta’s rich history in promoting civil rights and justice and overcoming a dark legacy of slavery. Touring the National Museum of Civil and Human Rights offered an international human rights perspective while visits to the Atlanta Aquarium and Ponce City Market offered insight to Atlanta’s current role in the world.
The U.S. Consulate applauds the successful outcomes of the delegation’s visit to Atlanta and remains committed to fostering enduring partnerships and meaningful economic connections between the United States and the Dutch Caribbean.