Minister Palm killing our economy – Curaçao Airport City, a unique investment opportunity in the Americas
This was the title of a promotional publication endorsed by the Minister of Economy Stanley Palm under the name of "Visions of Curacao "published at the end of 2013 after a visit of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. This publication is also available on the internet on a specially created website www.vissionsoncuracao.com. In his introductory note Palm wrote: “In addition to tourism, there is a large financial sector, a stock exchange, a data center and a refinery. But there is more. Curacao has an all-round maritime center and an impressive Airport City concept that has a lot of economic potential".
Therefor it was with astonishment to hear the same Minister, publicly disregarding the concept of the Airport City and indicating that the government has a different policy in regards to the development of our Airport Hato. Furthermore, Minister Palm used the development of the Airport City concept by Curacao Airport Holding's Managing Director Maurice Adriaens as a reason not to prolong Adriaens contract after June 1, 2015. In other words Minister of Economy Stanley Palm is telling potential investors how impressive the Airport City concept is, but at the same time he "kills" all projects in regards to the Airport City Concept and decides to "fire" Maurice Adriaens as Managing Director of CAH, because he was dedicating too much time developing the Airport City.
This is what Stanley Palm is telling potential investors on page 20 of the promotional publication Visions on Curacao: "Curacao Airport Holding (CAH) owner of Curacao International Airport has recently taken the first step in the development of the Airport and its surroundings into a state-of-the-art Airport City; a sophisticated service hub offering green, high-tech and innovative products and services. The Master Plan for Curacao Airport City involves the development of 450 hectares of land for considerable expansion of the existing airport services, with brand new business hotels, showrooms and warehouses, as well as high-end products and services such as Commercial Spaceport Operations, and Eco Park and innovative Eco-, Aqua- and agriculture related industries". - When did Minister Palm change his mind?
Furthermore Visions on Curacao, which is a promotional publication endorsed by no one other than Minister Palm, explains potential investors as follows: "Airports worldwide become powerful engines of local economic development, attracting aviation-linked business of all types. Along with incorporating a wide variety of retail and consumer service into passenger terminals, many airports are developing their land side areas with hotels, conference & exhibition centers, offices and shopping complexes, recreational facilities and logistics and free trade zones. Such commercial development is substantially and positively impacting financial bottom line of airports, and also directly and indirectly contributing to the social and economic development of the local communities. It is transforming airports from landing and takeoff strips into dynamic business centers".
Mind you this information was distributed to all potential investors in the Dutch Kingdom as well as World Wide. By changing his policies just to find something to get rid of Maurice Adriaens not only is Minister Palm contradicting himself, but also hurting our island’s potential for foreign investors. Now you can wonder why our economy is totally stagnated and in reverse!
By Jorge Sulbaran for Curaçao Chronicle.