Prime Minister request help from the Netherlands to modernize local economy

WILLEMSTAD - The Curaçao government has an in-depth analysis of the current financial, social and economic situation of the island and subsequently submits a specific request for assistance to the Netherlands based on the outcome.

In this context, assistance from, for example, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can be achieved in order to get a quicker reversal of the precarious situation the country is currently in.

This was stated by the Prime Minister of Curaçao Eugene Rhuggenaath. The prime minister wants to achieve a complete transformation and modernization of the economy, which must lead to a sustainable recovery. "The economy needs to be reformed; new sectors must be created, new policies and new initiatives. I have already spoken to the World Bank about the growth strategy. They then indicated that they wanted to provide assistance in the areas of economic reform, poverty reduction and employment."

The Prime Minister was in the Netherlands together with Minister of Finance Kenneth Gijsbertha and Minister Suzanne Camelia-Römer of Health, Environment and Nature to hold a ministerial meeting with Dutch Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra and Minister Raymond Knops of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.

"During this meeting, extensive discussions were held about the situation of the country and all the risks it faces," says Rhuggenaath. “The Isla refinery has been discussed and what will happen if it doesn’t work out with the Klesch Group and continuity of the refinery cannot be guaranteed. Among other things, the consequences of this for the economy and employment were discussed in this context. "

The subject of the additional loan for the new hospital was also on the agenda, but was not discussed extensively, according to the prime minister. "That process is already running through the Financial Supervision Board, which must provide advice on this."

What has been discussed extensively are the risks in terms of public finances and what needs to be done to get out of the economic stagnation. “The growth strategy and the growth agreement are already being implemented. But we have to go and see whether the actions that we are taking now are sufficient and will provide the change that we so desperately need quickly enough,” the prime minister says.

At the end of the meeting with Knops and Hoekstra, it was therefore concluded that a more in-depth analysis is required. “And based on this analysis, targeted help is called in. We ourselves have insufficient capacity in Curaçao to come up with the necessary reforms in a short period of time, let alone to implement them to achieve the desired result.”

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