High expectations for new Minister of Economic Development
WILLEMSTAD – Eugene Rhuggenaath is the new Minister of Economic Development and has been appointed to that post by the new member of the coalition, PAR.
Rhuggenaath is not a newcomer in Curaçao’s political arena. He has served as a Commissioner of Finance of the Island Territory of Curaçao when it was part of the Netherlands Antilles. He was also a member of the Island Council. He was the so called crown prince of the yellow party PAR, who was supposed to succeed former leader of the party Emily de Jongh-Elhage, who was the last Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles.
Rhuggenaath and the party leadership did not agree on several issues which led the young politician to resign and to continue his career in the private sector six years ago.
On November 30 of this year, Rhuggenaath will be sworn in as the new Minister of Economic Development. He will also be registered once again as a member of the party that appointed him to this post. His successor, Stanley Palm, who is a member of the PAIS party, had to clear the way for this bright young man of 45. According to various members of the PAR party, his return to politics brings hope for the economy, but also for his party. They believe that with his return, many of the voters, who voted for the PAIS party in the last election, would come back and bring back to the PAR its former glory.
“I've always said that I would consider a return in politics if an appeal is made to me in order to make a contribution. When it the time came there the country needed stability and I received a phone call from PAR leader, Zita Jesus-Leito, I decided to accept the challenge,” said Rhuggenaath.
The new Minister has been placed in front of a major challenge. There has hardly been any economic growth here on the island in recent years. “We have to combine forces to make sure that ensure that we see sustainable economic growth. I am convinced that it will work if all parties work together.”
“We only have ten months. We'll focus our attention to all areas, but must, at the same time, look at what can be realized concretely in this short period. This means that we have to set priorities,” said Rhuggenaath.
According to the new Minister, these priorities are the tourism master plan, the investment climate, the development of the harbor, the maritime sector and the airport.
“This is where we need to have economic development for all to benefit from it.”