The economy on Curaçao in relation to small developing countries in the Caribbean area

“The residents of Curaçao enjoy a relatively high standard of living which is comparable with, and even slightly better than, that of developing countries. Internet connectivity on Curaçao is also reasonably good compared to other small states.” This is one of the conclusions in the report entitled ‘The Curaçaoan economy in relation to other small island states’ which was compiled by Professor Roger Hosein of the University of the West Indies following research into the macro-economic structure of the economy on Curaçao compared to other small developing countries, also referred to as Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Image: ©Curaçao Tourist Board / Curaçao Tourist Board

The aim of the research was to gain a better insight, compared to other SIDS, into the still unused economic potential and how to unlock this potential. Based on the conclusions, recommendations are made to the Country of Curaçao regarding investment opportunities and the conditions that economic policy must meet in this regard. This also involved looking at economic interventions in other SIDS to achieve growth and development on Curaçao. The Council of Ministers has read the report and the Minister of Economic Development is committed to implementing the prioritised recommendations. In the context of the implementation of the National Package, the Temporary Work Organization will provide support as necessary.

A few of the conclusions and recommendations

Transnational education

The research presents a picture of the importance of transnational education and international universities on Curaçao for the island's economy. The contribution by students, faculty members and family visits make a huge contribution to our economy. As stated in the report, “The expectation is that, within the framework of the National Export Strategy, Curaçao will continue to push the economy in this direction.” Curaçao is being encouraged to focus more on this sector and to consider the establishment of two additional large offshore medical universities. Positive tourism-related activities, such as new hotels, are contributing to economic developments on the island.

Free Zone

The report concludes that the Free Zone uses more foreign exchange than it generates.The recommendation is to investigate in the future whether there is room for production activities which, at least, support the economy on Curaçao. For example, it is suggested that production in the agricultural sector be expanded to supply the growing tourism sector.

Reading tip: