Published On: Mon, Jul 3rd, 2017

Curaçao Prime Minister wants to do business with the Netherlands

King_Rhuggenaath1WILLEMSTAD, THE HAGUE - The new government of Curaçao wants to work more closely with the Netherlands. That’s the message Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath gave to his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte in a meeting between the two.

Politically speaking, the relationship between The Hague and Willemstad has been stagnant in recent years. The Netherlands has repeatedly intervened in the island's autonomous government. For example, to guarantee parliamentary elections and to get the budget of the island in order.

“There remains a perception that the Netherlands should address us on our responsibilities. I want to change that now: we take our own responsibility,” said Prime Minister Rhuggenaath.

In view of the cabinet formation in the Netherlands, Rhuggenaath hopes that Dutch government officials will “communicate at an equivalent level” with the autonomous Curaçao.

Curaçao can play a major role in 'strengthening relations with countries in North and South America'. And according to Rhuggenaath, his cabinet is able to achieve economic gains for the Netherlands and the rest of the Kingdom. “We want to bring companies together in the Kingdom and the region.”

The Curaçao Prime Minister hopes for more cooperation and assistance from the Netherlands. No pocket money but knowledge about policy development. Rhuggenaath says he wants to get involved with large municipalities and organizations to see how they can help the Curaçao government.

The island should be less dependent on the large export of fruit and vegetables from neighboring countries, such as Venezuela, for example, which in a major economic and political crisis. In the field of agriculture, horticulture and fisheries, knowledge can also be taken from the Netherlands to the island, says Rhuggenaath. “Agriculture is less than one percent of our economy, while the Netherlands is known for its innovation and knowledge in this sector.”

By John Samson
Caribbean Network

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