Published On: Mon, Aug 28th, 2017

OPEN LETTER to the government

With reference to the recent exhortation of the Prime Minister in the local newspapers in Curaçao that the business community should take the initiative for the economic development of Curaçao and should not leave everything for the government to accomplish, a serious movement has come into being. Not only in the business community, but also various other interest groups and stakeholders throughout our society, which movement aims to give the proper follow-up to the above-mentioned exhortation of the Prime Minister.

With this document the government is therefore approached  with the following crucial proposals which not only are put forward by the business community but also on behalf of other groups in society, for example independent professionals, and various private individuals, in fact the entire population.

  1. The proposal to follow the worldwide trend to gradually phase out of the fossil industry, at least the petrochemical branch, and to switch to the development of sustainable energy generation.
  1. The government should strive for a policy by which we do not make ourselves dependent on one external (foreign) strategic partner, particularly not for our energy provision, since the provision of energy is the lifeline of every society and therefore it must not be placed under full control or given in management of a foreign entity, whichever that may be.
  1. Under no condition whatsoever the management, control or ownership rights of our deep seaports should be transferred to a foreign entity, whichever entity that might be.
  1. Instead of clinging with desperate tenacity to a continuation of the existing, but already dwindling petrochemical industry, the government should embark on the development of the hinterland in Bullenbaai, outside of the oil terminal, in view of transforming the area into a transshipment port without any ugly industrial establishments which cause such environmental pollution.
  1. The government should under all circumstances give precedence to the interests of our own government-owned corporations whenever their interests collide with the business interests of foreign entities, whichever entities that may be.
  1. The overambitious (and therefore much too expensive) construction of the LNG-terminal in Bullenbaai should be downsized and the construction should be carried out within the financial strength of local entities (combined). The present granting of the bid to a foreign entity should be reconsidered to assess whether this indeed will turn out to become a real WIN-WIN situation for us, at least the concession right should be withheld until such has been duly investigated in an elaborate SWOT-analysis.
  1. An LNG-terminal solely in the hands of local entities deserves priority in order to avoid that Curaçao becomes fully dependent on a foreign entity (whoever that may be) for the main fuel for its electricity supply in the future.
  1. The provision of employment opportunities should be in the hands of as large a number of employers as possible for risk spreading as compared to one single foreign employer, whoever that might be.
  1. Under no condition whatsoever should the government give land in long lease to any foreign entity, in order to reduce the attendant risk-exposure in the event that the holder of the lease mortgages the land and subsequently fails to duly comply with its payment obligations towards the lending -foreign- banks. If the lender then exercises its right by proceeding to a foreclosure, the land might fall into unwanted or undesirable hands.
  1. Self-sufficiency should be strived for by involving as many as possible local interest groups in the future economic development of Curaçao.­­

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