Martina: “Nothing is going to change, unless we change it”
Dr. Steven Martina urges to action
WILLEMSTAD – In a fully booked Renaissance Ball room during the sold out event of the VBC Year End Luncheon Dr. Ivan Steve ‘Steven’ Martina had the audience hanging on every next word whilst traveling in time to the year 2020 when numerous initiatives from just five years before reach maturity because of bold collective action: The Coalition of the Willing to Spur Economic Growth.
The Curaçao Trade & Industry Association, also known as ‘VBC’ (which stands for Verenigd Bedrijfsleven Curaçao), established back in the mid forties, is a strong organization exercising high influence in numerous fields amongst which the economy. The LB Smith luncheon series during the year with the main bout at year’s end is the annual VBC Luncheon with a top Keynote Speaker delivering a clean and crisp message through the audience and the media to our community as a whole. Dr. Steven Martina a true Captain of Industry who’s bio covers pages and pages was found willing to deliver the 2015 VBC Year End Luncheon Keynote Address.
Dr. Martina connected to the audience phrasing “..what does it take to make the Curaçao Economy take off?..”. While starting up to prepare for take-off Dr. Martina highlighted the sense of urgency as the fiscal cliff is not far away from where we are now. Then he released brakes, launched and took the audience by the hands sharing the current status referring to key figures and publications for then to move rapidly to higher domains taking the audience on a journey of imagineering on how 2020 would be like when ‘The Coalition of the Willing’ tips the scales.
Starting with the maritime sector with flourishing ship repair and ship demolition as described in the Maritime Center Masterplan, 2nd Megapier with adjacent Seaport Village as part of the CPA Masterplan, to the Airport expansion plans, to Energy & Utility facilities resulting in a leading role in production of sustainable energy, to the opportunity of economic activity in the “Bullenbaai” area attracting international business with massive investments and topped with the major successes in International Financial Services Sector where transformation of off-shore to mid-shore of choice has become reality, and last but not least the Tourism & Hospitality Sector celebrates heights never seen before. Dr. Martina kept adding the numbers reaching that magic nine digit number called ‘one billion’ in real investments. In order to be complete but still concise he then mentioned that one cannot forget to add the five fold number – in billions – for the really deep pockets in modernizing and upgrading the oil refinery to operate within international acceptable environmental standards.
Subsequently Dr. Martina posted the next question “..but how did we get there?.”. There is where the ins and outs of ‘The Coalition of the Willing to spur economic growth’ were shared with the audience: All of this would never have happened without the combined efforts of the public, private and civil society. It is a process of participation, a process of encouraging, a process of establishing partnerships. The sum of all of this made the promotion of economic development through strategic planning possible: The Local Economic Development or The ‘LED’.
There would be no ‘LED’ without the roles that come with it, amongst others: Government with keyplayer The Minister of Economic Development; The Business Sector represented by micro, small, medium and large-scale enterprises; Organized Business groups with Associations, Unions and more; Cooperatives and Finance Institutions; the Civil Society with Civil Social Organizations (CSO’s), Non-Governement Organizations (NGO’s), People’s Organizations (PO’s); and Educational Institutions where knowledge and expertise are key for solid development.
From guiding principles and values for successful participation Dr. Martina moved to some very interesting components of The Coalition of The Willing: Consent with regard to the game plan; Commitment from stakeholders; Collaboration of the stakeholders involved to realize necessary alignment in objectives to be pursued; Consistency to assure harmony and avoid contradiction and Coherence for the process to be perceived as legitimate, equitable and just.
With the expression of true faith and the call to action stating that “..Nothing is going to change, unless we change it..”, Let the coalition of the willing to spur economic growth be the Game changer, Dr. Ivan Steve ‘Steven’ Martina triggered a loud round of applause unfolding approval for this multi-dimensional plan for action. For Nos Dushi Korsou that is.
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