Published On: Thu, Mar 5th, 2015

Asjes meets with Koenders to talk about Venezuela

Ajes_KoendersTHE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD – During his working visit to Netherlands, Prime Minister Ivar Asjes had a conversation with the Kingdom Foreign Relations Minister Bert Koenders, on the situation in Venezuela.

Minister Koenders recently indicated in a letter to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Dutch Parliament that the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom are hardly hindered by the political situation in the neighboring South American country of Venezuela.

Curaçao, which lies near Venezuela suffers no substantial increase in migration flows resulting from the political situation in its southern neighbor. However, there are more Venezuelans traveling to Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao to shop or for tourism.

The economies of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire are strongly intertwined with the Venezuelan economy. Measures in the economic sphere have a direct impact. For example, the Venezuelan ban on exports of subsidized products have direct consequences for Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, he said. Especially Aruba that largely depends on Venezuela for the import of food, is experiencing the consequences. Also, regarding energy, Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire depend on Venezuela.

The oil refinery in Curaçao is owned by Curaçao, but is operated by the Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA). The refinery contributes, ranging from, 9 to 11% of the GDP of the island and also provides significant employment, according to Koenders.

This is why it was important for the Prime Minister of Curaçao, who is also in charge of Curaçao’s foreign relations to discuss this issue with the Kingdom Foreign Relations Minister.

The two also spoke among other on various pathways in the context of economic cooperation with Panama, Colombia and the Dominican Republic.

Image: Prime Minister Asjes, Koenders and Minister Plenipotentiary of Curaçao in the Netherlands, Marvelyne Wiels.

Photo credit: KGMC

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