By Alex Rosaria
Exactly 9 years ago (January 19, 2011), the financial director of the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS) stated that the lack of a coordinated macroeconomic policy between Willemstad and Philipsburg poses a threat to the stability of monetary union between Curaçao and St. Maarten. In the meantime, this coordination is still lacking, with the result that the two countries are increasingly further apart. The current CBCS financial director, a former Minister of Finance, said as early as 2015 that this coordination of the monetary union is not a priority.
However, no coordination is not an option. A monetary union is the most advanced form of economic integration between members.
From 2008, as State Secretary for Finance, I have expressed my objections to a monetary union that was politically imposed by The Hague and accepted by the government of the Netherlands Antilles, the governments of Curaçao and St. Maarten and the Bank of the Netherlands Antilles (precursor of CBCS). This forced monetary marriage should never have taken place since it was not supported by any economic foundation.
The challenges that Curaçao experiences as an international financial centre should stimulate a sense of urgency. CBCS is an important link in this, but it has been in a negative light in recent years (pending a possible prosecution for breach of confidentiality, insolvency of the Girobank and probably also its questionable role regarding Ennia).
Hopefully our monetary union will receive the necessary attention as soon as possible. We cannot afford a monetary drama right now
~ Alex David Rosaria (53) is a freelance consultant active in Asia and the Pacific. He is a former Member of Parliament, Minister of Economic Affairs, State Secretary of Finance and UN Implementation Officer in Africa and Central America. He is from Curaçao and has an MBA from University of Iowa (USA).