Friday, Apr 17th

LATEST:
You are here: Islands Islands News Ys: Dutch Caribbean isles must foster trade among themselves

Best_of_2015_587x57_Results

Ys: Dutch Caribbean isles must foster trade among themselves

~ Suggests formation of kingdom business bureau ~

DAWN BEACH--Former Netherlands Antilles Prime Minister Etienne Ys minced no words when it came to exploring and encouraging trade and business in the Dutch Caribbean, when he said Wednesday that the biggest problem the islands face in progressing economically is their lack of communication.

"The islands are not talking business to each other. We don't have commercial treaties. We don't encourage business with each other," Ys stated at the 18th InterExpo Congress at The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach and Spa.

The former prime minister decried plans by Curacao and St. Maarten to split the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten and possibly create to new currencies for the countries. He classified this pending move as "making doing business more difficult" for investors interested in the two countries.

To achieve more and re-invigorate trade, Ys said economic cooperation among the islands, with the Netherlands and other countries "must be a fix item" on the agenda for all kingdom partners and must take the form of public/private partnership.

He suggested that the partnership takes the form of a "Holland-Dutch Caribbean BV". This will serve as a bureau, similar to a chamber of commerce that will promote international commercial cooperation between and through the countries of the kingdom. The bureau must be politically neutral and give special attention to small and medium enterprises and focus on building relationships with Latin America.

It's time for more action on creating and sustaining trade linkages, he said. "I'm advocating for public and private sectors to sit together."

He pointed out that much can be accomplished when the islands come together, such as the constitutional changes realised in October 2010.

Ys' presentation centred on "Economic Cooperation within the Kingdom - a win-win approach."

He expounded on the Dutch seeing the islands as a hub to the Americas more than 300 years ago, a hub function that still exists, but is not fully utilised in present day with the Dutch Caribbean move away from trade and commerce to development aid in the past 150 years.

There has been "no attention" to trade, particularly in the past decade by the Dutch Caribbean islands. Ys said the islands and the Netherlands have talked about everything from constitutional change to fiscal stability. "But, we have stopped talking trade."

He questioned if the neglect of trade had to do with the Netherlands no longer being a viable international trade country as it was in the past, or whether the islands are no longer fit to be a gateway any longer. Neither of these statements is true, he countered, saying that the Netherlands is still one of the top 10 trade countries in the world, the fifth top exporter, the seventh importer and the 11th international investor, and the islands are still a gateway to the Americas and can become Latin America's hub to Europe.

"Why aren't we talking about cooperation ... We have a partner," Ys, in his customary direct way, told the gathering of business and government representatives from across the kingdom.

The islands are well situated, have good telecoms, rule of law, are part of the Dutch Kingdom, have a well-educated labour force, and are high-income economies among others. "I think the islands are still a hub for the Netherlands and Latin America."

Ys pointed out that building on that hub function is more important now, with the countries closest to the Dutch Caribbean islands "becoming rich." Those potential markets include Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.

The Netherlands is "not hitting Latin America enough" as its major partners are Brazil and Argentina. However, that's poised to change with the current Dutch Government international business policy focusing on intensifying trade with Brazil, Colombia and Mexico by helping Dutch small and medium enterprises to go international. The Dutch Good Growth Fund will finance these ventures via loans, guarantees and equity participation.

WITU to register concerns about timing of FBE exams
Saturday, 18 April 2015
PHILIPSBURG--Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU) will officially register its concerns about the... Read more...
Schotte removed from Parliament
Saturday, 18 April 2015
WILLEMSTAD--MFK leader and former Prime Minister of Curaçao Gerrit Schotte was removed from the... Read more...
Image
Former US President Jimmy Carter to head observer team to Guyana polls
Friday, 17 April 2015
GEORGETOWN, Guyana--Former United States President Jimmy Carter will lead an observer mission to... Read more...
Image
Caribbean and Latin America improve climate for infrastructure investment PPPs
Thursday, 16 April 2015
PUNTA DEL ESTE, Uruguay--The environment for private investment in infrastructure through... Read more...
Image
Oklahoma City bombing's miracle babies to move on
Friday, 17 April 2015
OKLAHOMA CITY--Joseph Webb retains a long, thin scar on his face. PJ Allen remembers nothing of the... Read more...
Image
Sunken World War II carrier discovered off California coast
Friday, 17 April 2015
LOS ANGELES--A federal oceanic agency has discovered the sunken wreckage of the World War II... Read more...
Image
France to allow class actions against racism
Friday, 17 April 2015
CRETEIL, France--Victims of racism and anti-Semitism in France will be able to join forces in class... Read more...
Image
Saddam aide, Iraqi insurgent leader al-Douri reported killed
Friday, 17 April 2015
BAGHDAD/ERBIL--Ezzat Ibrahim al-Douri, former right-hand man to late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein... Read more...
Image
Volkswagen CEO survives challenge from chairman
Friday, 17 April 2015
BERLIN/HAMBURG--Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has survived a challenge from powerful chairman... Read more...
Image
G20 more upbeat on global growth
Friday, 17 April 2015
WASHINGTON--The Group of 20 leading economies struck a hopeful tone on the outlook for global... Read more...
Image
I lost you twice
Friday, 17 April 2015
I am bewildered, emotionally lost at sea I cannot accept that you are gone, forever lost to me How... Read more...
Image
Etty Ket
Friday, 17 April 2015
Dear Queenie, If you are sitting down when you are introduced to someone, are you supposed to stay... Read more...
Image
St. Maarten’s Jones throws for three field records
Friday, 17 April 2015
NEW JERSEY--Kingsborough College freshman Keziann Jones is throwing up a storm. In her first meet... Read more...
Image
King of swing Anderson passes Botham's record
Friday, 17 April 2015
ANTIGUA- James Anderson became England's highest wicket-taker in test cricket when he claimed his... Read more...
Image
Denver teacher's third grade assignment goes viral online
Friday, 17 April 2015
DENVER--A Colorado teacher who posted notes from her third grade class online and started a social... Read more...
Image
The Wannabe searches for identity in mobster world
Friday, 17 April 2015
NEW YORK--In the waning days of the New York Mafia in the 1990s, a young man ill-suited for a life... Read more...
Image
Swim Instructor Franky
Friday, 17 April 2015
Franklyn “Franky” Carty retired from TelEm after 30 years only to become a fulltime swim... Read more...
Image
THE WORK OF A DUTCH EMBASSY
Friday, 17 April 2015
~ What I learned as an intern in Prague ~   By Rik Haverman   The work of a diplomat and... Read more...
Editorial - Less annoying
Friday, 17 April 2015
Don't kill the messenger, but there are persistent complaints within the business community about... Read more...
Editorial - Explaining to do
Thursday, 16 April 2015
The reported request by the Council of State for St. Maarten to delay voting on its Integrity... Read more...
Image
Saturday Apr. 18, 2015
Friday, 17 April 2015
Image
Friday Apr. 17, 2015
Friday, 17 April 2015
Notices April 18
Friday, 17 April 2015
Saturday, April 18 TALENT SHOW Organised by Catholic Schools Place: Sports Auditorium time:... Read more...
Notices, April 16
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
Saturday, April 18 TALENT SHOW Organised by Catholic Schools Place: Sports Auditorium time:... Read more...