CIFA makes progress on many areas
WILLEMSTAD - On March 23rd CIFA, the Curaçao International Financial Services Association, held its annual meeting at the Koetshuis of the Avila Hotel. In a detailed presentation, the board explained to members what the association has achieved over the past year and what the plans are for 2017. CIFA now represents more than 100 corporate members from Curacaos financial sector; an important sector which accounts for approximately 15% of the gross national product of the country.
CIFA and its board is engaged in various activities: conversations with and presentations to internal and external parties that are relevant to the sector; organization of breakfast and lunch presentations by speakers who are experts in areas relevant to the sector; assistance in the implementation of international regulations and conventions, and to develop and implement local legislation; representing Curacao and the sector at international conferences; organizing conferences; and launching and supporting 'social responsibility projects. The latter is something new; CIFA thinks it’s very important to contribute to the development of the country and society where it is an integral part of. This will be done in particular in the field of sports, and thus also in the fields of education, health, combating crime and the promotion of Curacao.
What has occurred in these areas in 2016 is too extensive to list but important in any event were:
- Continuous discussions with the Ministries of Finance and MEO, and the CBCS on a variety of financial topics, including correspondent banking, OECD requirements, international conventions and FATCA/CRS regulations;
- Discussions with international organizations like the World Bank, Standard & Poors and DCIB;
- Supporting the government of Curacao to eliminate "red tape" and attract investors through six for the sector important legislative processes (including new tax holiday legislation);
- Attending international conferences to promote Curacao;
- Contributing to local projects that can contribute to the development of Curaçao in various fields, including sports (SDK), democracy (the 2016 leaders debate) and sector development (Space Platform).
As evidenced by the presentation of the board, CIFA is motivated to follow a very active year in 2016 by an even more active year in 2017. Many issues will emerge during the year; but at this moment there is already a lot in the pipeline. CIFA will continue the excellent cooperation with the government of Curacao and continue to contribute to important regulations, laws and treaties; the good cooperation was emphasized by the esteemed presence of a sector director, the head of the Department of Fiscal Affairs. There is a luncheon planned on April 6th, during which the development of capital markets in Curacao will be discussed. CIFA will launch a program to inform local students about the financial sector and its activities. CIFA will also develop initiatives to promote economic relations between Curacao and China. Supporting FDDK and its plans to build a high-performance sports center will also further continue. Finally, CIFA exists for 35 years; and the association will celebrate this in the course of this year with a charity gala dinner and a new website (readable in various languages including Mandarin).
All in all, 2016 was a fruitful year for CIFA and the association continues to develop new initiatives to develop the financial sector in particular and Curacao in general. During the meeting a new member was admitted to the association (CPA) and two new board members were elected, Mr Beunis (Trust Moore) and Oedjaghir (CATS). They will strengthen CIFA and further contribute to these initiatives.