Published On: Fri, Jul 21st, 2017

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: To govern is to anticipate the future

oil refineryThe governmental agreement among the coalition partners of Curaçao was drawn up and signed. However, a crucial component is lacking, completely absent, to wit the Large-scale Industrial Development of the hinterland at Bulllenbay. By adding this LID Bullenbay to the governmental agreement, such will create a better, i.e. a stronger negotiating position for the negotiators on behalf of Curaçao towards all potential counter-parties in the negotiations. Risk-based management will create added value for our country. For example with the LID of the hinterland at Bullenbay as a fallback position, Curaçao takes up a position as a smart nation in the various rounds of negotiations.

As a smart nation we also adopt a smarter position to manage our own economic growth potential in our own hands with the least possible risks, with better results than in the case of one single foreign strategic partner. Risk-spreading by means of multiple foreign investors in the LID of the hinterland at Bullenbay is the most effective instrument to achieve responsible risk management. No one is able to predict at this moment what will be the market condition on the 1st of January 2020, but there is an unmistakable trend worldwide to move from the fossil industry towards sustainable energy generation. Therefore it stands to reason that the demand for final products from the fossil industry will dwindle gradually. To govern properly and wisely, is to anticipate the future and therefore the upcoming Administration is bound to take all the attendant risk factors into account and to safeguard the country from the negative impact of same.
This will be possible by putting the train of the LID of the hinterland in motion. This LID Bullenbay is entirely separate from the modernization of the Isla refinery, but it may well provide a safety net by creating alternative employment, if the project of the modernization fails to materialize. Curaçao is a small-scale society and the impact of a loss of jobs at one single large company is much greater than it is in big countries with many large employers. In Curaçao we have no social security system with funds to provide for unforeseen and sudden unemployment. Thus it might turn out to become a national calamity if the government does not start as of today to create measures to counter-act such a disaster in the future.

To govern properly and wisely, is to anticipate the future.

By Marguérite Nahar

Juriste Marguérite Nahar was, until mid-October, external legal adviser to Refineria di Korsou (RdK)

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