June 14, 2023 –WILLEMSTAD – The final statement in the report published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the end of May indicates that Curaçao is expected to experience a growth of approximately 6.5% in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2022. This is a development that the Minister of Economic Development, Mr. Ruisandro Cijntje, is extremely proud of. It demonstrates that the management he has implemented in collaboration with his ministry for economic recovery is yielding relatively quick results. Based on the IMF’s forecast for 2022, it can be concluded without a doubt that Curaçao’s economy is in the process of recovery. In 2023, the IMF also expects that both our economy and inflation will continue to grow, although at a slower pace than in 2022.
The growth of approximately 6.5% in Curaçao’s Gross Domestic Product is largely attributed to substantial growth in the tourism sector and private investments. In 2022, Curaçao recorded a quantity of around 490,000 stay-over tourists, equivalent to 4.6 million overnight stays. When comparing these figures to 2021, it represents a growth of 85% and 64% respectively in 2022. The Ministry of Economic Development (MEO) is currently in the implementation phase of a National Export Strategy for Curaçao (NES), which focuses on six different areas from which Curaçao can export both products and services. It is worth noting that tourism is one of our largest export products to date.
The current management of Minister Cijntje, together with MEO, is focused on a National Economic Recovery Plan. This plan encompasses various areas of management that result in progress, prosperity, and recovery for the community of Curaçao. This National Recovery Plan includes short-term, medium-term, and long-term investment plans.
In addition to this Recovery Plan, structural measures are being implemented under the trajectory of the “Landspakket” to create the necessary conditions for achieving true and sustainable development.
One evident development is the increase in prices of both fuel and food commodities in 2022. These developments have pushed Curaçao’s inflation rate to a significantly high level, impacting the purchasing power of consumers. The inflation in 2022 was one of the highest Curaçao has experienced in approximately 42 years.
It is important to note that more than 60% of Curaçao’s inflation is imported, and as a result, the Government of Curaçao has limited influence over this inflation. However, the government strives to do its utmost to mitigate the effects on consumers. For example, in 2022, they were able to slightly mitigate inflation by addressing the impact of relatively high fuel prices through additional controls and price comparisons through economic inspections on food commodities.
Meanwhile, the management of the tourism sector is focused on further diversifying the sector by targeting different markets with high added value and stimulating more tourism investments. It is already evident that the number of stay-over tourists in the early months of 2023 has surpassed the figures of previous years, which is a result of the hard work carried out in the sector. During overseas visits, Minister Cijntje has also made significant efforts to attract more airlift and enhance local transportation routes, which will undoubtedly have positive effects on the tourism sector and the economic development of our country.