Published On: Thu, Oct 2nd, 2014

Chamber of Commerce against moratorium permits for minimarkets

Chamber of CommerceWILLEMSTAD – The private sector does not agree with the Minister of Economic Development's decision to proclaim a moratorium on permits for convenience stores and minimarkets on the island. The Chamber of Commerce (KvK) is against it and even informed the minister about their position.

The President of the Chamber of Commerce, Billy Jonckheer, has confirmed to the media that in a meeting held with minister Stanley Palm, where the minister spoke about his intentions to come with a moratorium, he informed the minister that his decision is not right. “This measure could be interpreted as one against foreigners,” Jonckheer said during an interview on the radio.

“The Minister of Economic Development possesses all the tools to say in which neighborhood you can open a store and in which one you can't. The Ministry of Economic Development (MEO) has the authority to say what can be sold or not and has the tools to monitor this. They also have the authority to say what time the stores can open and close,” Jonckheer said.

“If you say you have to study, analyze or evaluate the market, it doesn't make sense to take such a long time to do this. The minister said that the moratorium will last until the end of 2016, that's too long,” Jonckheer stressed.

“We shouldn't forget that the moratorium does not count for locals. Someone from Curaçao can open a store and then sell this to a foreigner. The local can also stand as a front for a foreigner to start with a convenience store, a minimarket or something similar,” Jonckheer stated.

According to the Chamber of Commerce President this measure is negative for the economic activities and Curaçao cannot allow this, especially now.

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