WILLEMSTAD - Container prices have risen sharply worldwide. This also means that the import prices for Curaçao will become more expensive. The government held a press conference on Thursday to explain the causes of the price increases on the island. Minister of Economic Development (MEO) Ruisandro Cijntje indicated that a consumer authority will be established for aid at high prices.
As an 'import island', Curaçao is vulnerable to fluctuating container prices," said the minister. Rates have risen between 42 and 82 percent in recent times. In addition, the corona crisis created a scarcity of various products. According to Cijntje, export countries cannot meet the high demand from countries that depend on imports.
The high demand for containers for export automatically leads to higher prices. “We have conducted research and have found that there is a shortage of containers,” said the minister. Many containers are now brought in via other countries such as Jamaica and Panama. Some of the products are unloaded there first. According to the minister, these detours, together with the rising oil prices, cause a lot of extra costs.
The government will carry out extra checks at supermarkets and other stores. Cijntje discusses the idea of setting up a consumer authority. With the help of this organization, legal action could also be taken against unfair or excessive prices.
In addition, container prices will be closely monitored. “Better cooperation with the consumer association for price comparisons is essential,” emphasizes Cijntje. The Ministry of Health, Environment and Nature (GMN) will also stimulate Curaçao’s own cultivation even more.