May 11, 2023 –WILLEMSTAD – Wednesday, May 10, 2023, during a work visit to Aruba, Minister of Economic Development, Ruisandro Cijntje, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Minister Geoffrey Wever of Economic Affairs, Communication, and Sustainable Development of Aruba on behalf of the Government of Curaçao. The objective of this MOU is to demonstrate the desire, as sister islands, to work together to improve the economic position of both countries and achieve a more concrete integration of our markets. With the signing of this MOU, Curaçao, and Aruba will now embark on the realization of this through a roadmap that specifically indicates the concrete actions and timelines for achieving each of them.
Within this collaboration, the MOU mentions areas such as formalizing the mutual arrangement (Onderlinge Regeling) that deals with market access between Aruba and Curaçao, with the goal of facilitating trade between the two countries. It will also focus on stimulating and facilitating increased investments from business owners in Aruba to Curaçao and vice versa. Considering that both Curaçao and Aruba have already noticed the interest of business owners in investing in the sister island, this MOU will help facilitate this process in a tangible manner, thereby complementing and supporting each other’s economic development. One of the areas that will also be addressed in this MOU is cooperation in the field of fair competition between businesses (Fair Trade Authority); the Competence Authorities of both Aruba and Curaçao will serve better with our combined knowledge and strength.
With the signing of this MOU, Curaçao, and Aruba are materializing the process for business owners from both countries to have free access to both the Curaçao and Aruba markets, but also to strengthen our position as small countries in the international market. As islands, we face challenges such as investments and infrastructure that can be better tackled through collaboration and reinforcing the position of both. The reality is that we have common challenges, but together we also have more opportunities and solutions for these challenges. During the signing of the MOU, Minister Cijntje indicated: “I see many possibilities for working together and reaping greater benefits. For example, purchasing fruits and vegetables together, and producing our own food to supply each other and complement each other. In various areas, we can team up and conquer the world together. Let’s focus on how we can complement and strengthen each other and conquer our region and beyond.”
For Curaçao to achieve sustainable economic growth and become an economically resilient island and country, we need to diversify our economy and create more markets for our companies to do business. The export strategy that we are implementing certainly helps to strengthen our businesses so that they can compete. We see great potential in our region and beyond. Likewise, we are closing agreements with Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, and Suriname. Our strength lies in unity, and economically we will continue to work to strengthen this unity.