Published On: Tue, Jun 19th, 2018

Business survey of the Chamber of Commerce: The impact of new technologies

Chamber of CommerceWILLEMSTAD - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Curaçao will start a survey in the week of June 18, 2018. The survey is a follow-up to last year's survey. Then business owners were asked questions about corporate social responsibility, the labor market and education, the business climate and export. The response from the Curaçao business sector was above expectations and the reactions very positive. Inspired by this, the Chamber has decided to conduct a survey twice a year.

In the first survey of 2018, BusinessSurvey-2018.H1, questions were included about recent economic developments and a special topic. In the final months of the second half of 2018, the survey (BusinessSurvey-2018.H2) will be held again, but then only questions about recent economic developments will be included. The results of the questions about economic developments are included in the Chamber's Short Term Economic Review.

The special topic of 2018 is about innovation. Particular attention is paid to the 'waves of innovation'. Curaçao has also had to deal with a large number of innovative applications of new technologies in recent years. Examples include mobile internet and cloud technology; Airbnb; renewable energy; e-commerce; automation and digitization of (administrative) services and bookings of travel arrangements through comparison sites. The availability of mobile internet is indispensable in our daily lives, but it has also affected the Curaçao market for telephone and television. The reorganization at UTS is a direct consequence of the developments in the field of mobile internet. Hotels have experienced the rise of Airbnb. As a result, the hotels have asked the government to maintain a level playing field in the sector. The energy market has also changed considerably in recent years.

Not only the production of wind energy has expanded considerably, but also the decentralized production of energy with solar panels on the roofs of companies and residential houses has taken off. The rise of solar panels was so turbulent, that the government was forced to introduce a tax for solar panels to discourage investment. Banks and insurance companies are automating their business processes, which means they need fewer staff. This creates an accelerated outflow and a reduced inflow of employees. Here too, the government is faced with a new issue, in this case with regard to the usefulness of primary and secondary administrative training. In short, everyone has to deal with the influence of new technologies; companies, employees and government. The survey focuses on the questions: Which sectors have been confronted with the introduction of new technologies and have they been accompanied by new competitors? How did companies respond to this?

Currently there is a lot of international attention for technological developments, whose applications in the future can have a major impact on individual companies and even on entire sectors. In the coming years, much is expected from far-reaching robotization of business processes, energy storage, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, blockchain, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and new materials. These new technologies are also referred to as disruptive technologies. If you want to know more about this, you can inform yourself about this on You Tube. The question is central to the survey: What expectations do Curaçao businesses have of when and how these new technologies will affect the economy of Curaçao?

The public debate about future technological developments and their consequences for Curaçao, and in particular the Curaçao labor market, has started under the leadership of the Social Economic Council and the Ministry of Social Development, Labor & Welfare. With the insights gained from answers to the questions about the special theme, the Chamber of Commerce aims to contribute to the thinking about what Curaçao expects.

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