Competitive procedures for economic projects & youth employment measures

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Willemstad ― At the conclusion of the economic summit held on June 25th 2014, the commercial sector agreed to take steps to alleviate youth unemployment, meanwhile the politicians agreed to cooperate with more flexible procedures for immigration for the benefit of the economic development and the promotion of export sectors.

After a long and thorough preparation, this meeting took place on Wednesday in the auditorium of the Curaçao Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Pietermaai. The business sector was represented by the Curaçao Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CoC) and the Curaçao Business Association (VBC) led by the Curaçao Chamber of Commerce & Industry chairman Billy Jonckheer and Curaçao Business Association vice chairman Joop Kuster. Also representatives of sectoral interest groups took part in the meeting. The representatives of organized business sector and the political parties that support the government reached an agreement to meet each other halfway ro realize economic recovery. On behalf of the government parties were among others Melvin Cijntje of PS, Alex Rosaria of PAIS, Marelva Jansen of PNP and independent Glenn Sulvaran. These are also the protagonists that signed the final document at the end of the meeting. During the conference, the parties discussed many concrete action points, and they agreed on particular projects that will give concrete impulse to the economy and create new jobs.

Unemployment and Better Business Bureau
The final document of the summit mentions that the parties with the commercial industry will develop a program to address youth unemployment, through training and involvement of government and businesses. This is one of the reasons this has been put as the first item on the agenda for their next meeting. Furthermore, CoC and VBC agreed to advocate for corporate social responsibility in their own circles and through a 'Better Business Bureau' and to pursue self-regulation within the sectors. They also encourage businesses to initiate their projects rapidly including expansions, to relaunch quickly with projects coordinators from the government to execute these projects the soonest; the government parties declare on the other hand to tackle stalled projects in joint consultation in order to get them rolling as well.

Export promotion
The economy and balance of payments of Curaçao have an urgent interest in the export of goods and services, this is why the coalition members agree to insist towards the government to apply a more flexible immigration policy to support the export sectors. Concretely they are thinking about admission of foreign students in the light of ‘transnational education’ ; admission of knowledge to stimulate knowledge economy; admission of foreigners who escape the winters in their own country to their second home in Curaçao; admission of foreign investors and their families; and admittance of the crew of sailing and motor yachts and private planes. In extension thereof, there is the aim to strengthen the competitive position of Curaçao by adapting structures, handling procedures and to remove obstacles in the process of granting of licenses and re-evaluating the requirements for foreign exchange.

Trust
Parties assume that with the agreed actions and priorities to be tackled, there is sufficient clarity about the economic future of Curacao and the opportunities that lay ahead. The problem areas will be tackled by the different parties in the next summit and the parties stated together that all the agreed points will be realized not later than October 15 2014, while the evaluation conference will be held not later than by the end of October 2014.