“Discussions about Central Bank harm the investment climate”POSTED: 06/28/16 7:41 PM
St. Maarten News – A lot of discussion about the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten is bad for the investment climate, says the chairman of the board for financial supervision Cft, Age Bakker. “It would be good if there came a solution for this,” he said during a press conference in Curacao.
The Financieele Dagblad wrote on June 10 that the Dutch National Bank questions the integrity of its-fellow supervisor in Curacao. It is allegedly such a mess that the DNB has asked and obtained competencies to act on the territory of the Central Bank. The Bank’s President Emsley Tromp has contested the position of the DNB.
The Cft hosted the press conference to discuss Curacao’s financial position. The country closed off the year 2015 with a slight surplus after a significant donation to the so-called swing fund.
Curacao’s budget is balanced for the third year in a row, though investments remained below budget, the Cft pointed out.
“For the complete handling of the financial dossiers it is important that the parliament soon handles financial legislation,” the Cft said. The supervisor mentioned in particular the ordinance that regulates the performance of government-associated entities and the annual accounts of 2012 and 2013.
According to chairman Bakker, healthy government finances are important, but they are not sufficient. “What is needed is an improvement of the investment climate. The red tape has to be reduced.”
That the government finances are in order and that there are no further austerity measures should have had an effect on the strengthening of investor confidence, but that did not happen. “People first want to see before they believe. They are careful. The investment climate does also not improve because of all these discussions about the Central Bank. That worries me,” Bakker said.
The number of companies making investments has however for the first time in five years increased. “After fifteen years of standstill you now see something of hope,” Bakker said. “Concrete projects are the construction of the second mega-pier, the negotiations with Damen Ship Yards, the expansion of the airport and in the somewhat longer term the modernizing of the refinery. That will have to happen one way or the other. It offers a perspective for the fight against poverty on the island,” the Cft-chairman said. “Ultimately we need jobs. Healthy government finances are a necessary condition, but it is not enough. The ball is in the court of the private sector and because of that the investment climate has to improve.”