Curaçao launches National Export Council (en)

23 mars 2021
ITC Nouvelles
In a milestone moment for its National Export Strategy, Curaçao has established the Curaçao Export Council to guide the implementation of the country’s National Export Strategy to help the country drive economic development forward and boost socio-economic growth.

Curaçao has taken a major step forward to achieve its vision: "Curaçao - where business succeeds".

 The Curaçao Export Council (CEC), composed of key stakeholders from the private and public sectors, is tasked with monitoring and supporting the implementation of Curaçao's National Export Strategy.

The government of Curaçao, supported by ITC, has been working on designing a National Export Strategy (NES) to increase foreign exchange earnings, diversify exports and drive economic development. The Strategy is centered on "e-government for business" to facilitate exports and help Curaçao re-emerge as a more resilient economy after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the first output of the National Export Strategy, Curaçao's Strategic Trade Development Roadmap recommended the creation of the Council to provide the leadership and coordination necessary to support the implementation of the strategy. The CEC will act in an advisory capacity to the government on trade and competitiveness. As the success of a National Export Strategy depends on the collaboration of multiple actors, the CEC will be the main forum for dialogue between the private and public sectors.

"The CEC will provide a permanent public-private forum to address issues relating to trade and investment and competitiveness" said Curaçao's Minister of Economic Development, Steven Martina. He further added, "The Council is an independent institution composed of representatives of both private and public sectors, including labor and employer unions.

The CEC composition is a reflection of the dynamic coordination that is expected to result from the National Export Strategy. Vanessa Toré, Director of Foreign Cooperation at the Ministry of Economic Develop, is leading the NES Secretariat which is in charge of coordinating CEC activities.

In the words of the Chief of the Trade Development Strategies Programme Anton Said, the stakeholders represented in the CEC "are a crucial component in the overall mechanism that is geared towards economic renewal (who) can bring about change that will ultimately benefit the entire country, shape the wellbeing of the citizens of the island and could paint a promising future for the younger generations".

The CEC will begin its work by addressing cross-cutting issues that are affecting the competitiveness of enterprises on the island.

In its first meetings, the representatives will address such topics as e-payments for e-commerce, immigration of high skilled professionals, and the cost of electricity and internet data. These hurdles to the ease of doing business were identified in Curaçao's Strategic Trade Development Roadmap and will be tackled in more detail in the full National Export Strategy.