Thursday, Sep 18th

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

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.

Image
Bigger, special medevac helicopter for Statia, Saba
Friday, 19 September 2014
THE HAGUE--Canadian company National Helicopters will remain the medical evacuation provider for... Read more...
Fight was not public violence, as statements didn’t specify details
Friday, 19 September 2014
PHILIPSBURG--Three men stood accused of various offences in connection with a fight that took place... Read more...
Image
Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Chief Justice pleads for more funds
Thursday, 18 September 2014
THE VALLEY, Anguilla--Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Justice Janice Pereira... Read more...
Image
Caribbean becoming less competitive due to increasing aviation taxes, IATA warns
Thursday, 18 September 2014
ST. THOMAS, US Virgin Islands--The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) Tuesday... Read more...
Image
Arab Bank never backed Hamas, lawyer tells jury
Thursday, 18 September 2014
NEW YORK-- Arab Bank Plc never provided material support for the Palestinian group Hamas, a lawyer... Read more...
Image
U.S. inflation surprisingly weak, Fed keeps low rates pledge
Thursday, 18 September 2014
WASHINGTON-- U.S. consumer prices fell for the first time in nearly 1-1/2 years in August and... Read more...
Image
Hollande asks Europe for patience with France
Thursday, 18 September 2014
PARIS-- President Francois Hollande pleaded with Germany and other European partners on Thursday to... Read more...
Image
Islamic State beheadings a concern for mankind
Thursday, 18 September 2014
WASHINGTON-- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounced Islamic State's beheading of innocent... Read more...
Image
Alibaba IPO prices at top of range, raising $21.8 bln
Thursday, 18 September 2014
NEW YORK- - Alibaba Group Holding priced its initial public offering at $68 a share, the top end... Read more...
Image
Pro-pot activists launch first U.S. 'Consume Responsibly' campaign
Thursday, 18 September 2014
DENVER-- Taking a cheeky jab at a New York Times columnist who had a bad experience with... Read more...
Image
State sectarianism
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Dear Editor, After reading Wycliffe Smith's letter in The Daily Herald on September 17 I agree with... Read more...
Image
Fed up
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Dear Queenie, My boss is quite well-off, maybe you’d even call him rich. The problem is he’s... Read more...
Image
Sevilla sparkle as Europa returns with goal glut
Thursday, 18 September 2014
LONDON-- Sevilla's love affair with the Europa League was immediately rekindled as last season's... Read more...
Image
St. Martin’s Brown hits game winner
Thursday, 18 September 2014
GERMANY—The French National Baseball team advanced to the next round of the 2014 European... Read more...
Image
Sophia Loren, Italy's national icon, turns 80 with book of memoirs
Thursday, 18 September 2014
ROME-- Sophia Loren, Italy's national cinema icon and eternal diva, turns 80 this week and is... Read more...
Image
Jaguar XKE stolen in NY in 1968 recovered
Thursday, 18 September 2014
NEW YORK-- U.S. authorities have recovered a Jaguar XKE stolen 46 years ago outside a New York City... Read more...
Image
Dine - Beirut
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
~ Tasty fare for all ~ Beirut is new on the block and right on the road next to RBC Bank in Simpson... Read more...
Image
Glow Ride
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
Bike-a-thon ~ Glow in the dark fun ride in Simpson Bay ~ This fun event is taking place this... Read more...
Editorial - Definitely possible
Friday, 19 September 2014
The many legal twists and turns surrounding Caravanserai Resort in the previous months and years... Read more...
Editorial - Joint effort
Thursday, 18 September 2014
The Pointe Blanche prison remains in the news as authorities unveiled a package of measures to... Read more...
Image
Thursday Sep 18, 2014
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Image
Wednesday Sep 17, 2014
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
Notices September 18
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Friday, September 19 PEACE RALLY A march and a manifestation hosted by Peace IS Foundation and the... Read more...
Notices September 17
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Friday, September 19 PEACE RALLY A march and a manifestation hosted by Peace IS Foundation and the... Read more...