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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

step out of the monetary union out of concerns about possible devaluation due to current account imbalances in Curaçao. More recently, a study on the costs and benefits of dollarizing vs. continuing with the current exchange rate regime has been included in the reform country package ( landspakket ) agreed with the Netherlands. Real GDP Index (2010 = 100) Sources: The Curacao and Sint Maarten authorities, the IMF World Economic Outlook, and IMF staff calculations. Note: The shaded area represents the 10th-90th percentile range in a sample of 15 Caribbean

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

timeliness in granting required permits for foreign workers. To address mismatches in skills, the authorities in both islands have recognized the need to refocus the education system. The mission recommends renewed efforts to improve vocational education and develop targeted training programs to strengthen skills and improve productivity. The Sint Maarten authorities have recently embarked on a government-sponsored employment program to address high youth unemployment. Close monitoring and assessment of program deliverables will be critical to ensure the effective

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

DISCUSSIONS March 30, 2020 COVID-19 . The staff report was prepared by a staff team of the IMF for the Executive Board’s consideration on March 18, 2020. The staff report reflects discussions with the Kingdom of the Netherlands—Curaçao and Sint Maarten authorities in November 2019 and is based on the information available as of March 3, 2020. It focuses on Curaçao and Sint Maarten’s near and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before COVID-19 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity and

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

, reforming them is difficult and there is scope to make progress within the current system. Authorities in both countries, for example, noted that rigid labor dismissal laws in practice result in the proliferation of short-term contracts, with potential perverse effects on workers’ security. At the same time, they felt that forging the necessary consensus for reform is politically difficult given both countries’ heterogeneous governing coalitions and thin majorities. Nevertheless, Sint Maarten authorities reported that soon-to-be-released official survey results will show

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WASHINGTON, DC – April 1, 2020 the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation 1 with Curaçao and Sint Maarten, two autonomous constituent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and considered and endorsed the staff appraisal without a meeting.2 These consultation discussions form part of the Article IV consultation with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The analysis below reflects discussions with the Kingdom of the Netherlands—Curaçao and Sint Maarten authorities in

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation focuses on Curaçao and Sint Maarten’s near and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before coronavirus disease 2019 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity and financial markets. The fiscal position in Curaçao improved in the past two years, in part due to implemented fiscal measures. Both Curaçao and Sint Maarten would benefit from introducing a Fiscal Responsibility Framework. It could incorporate a central government debt ratio as a long-term anchor and operational rules calibrated to meet it. The report suggests that risks in the financial sector need to be addressed as a matter of priority. The authorities should develop a strategy for addressing financial sector vulnerabilities with the objective of preserving financial stability while minimizing fiscal costs. Significant strengthening of supervision and a complete overhaul of the bank resolution framework are also urgently needed. An across-the board improvement in the governance framework should be a key priority in both countries. Vulnerabilities in the financial system point to the need to strengthen governance in the financial sector.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

central government and social security funds (SVB). 3/ Includes teacher salaries. 4/ Mostly changes in deposits. 5/ The denominator is the average of total revenue in the previous three years. 6/ Defined as balance sheet liabilities of the central government except equities. Includes central government liabilities to the social security funds. Figure 3. Curaçao and Sint Maarten: Fiscal Developments 1/ Sources: Curaçao and Sint Maarten authorities; IMF WEO database, and IMF staff estimates. 1/ Overall balance excluding Trust Fund

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

/ Payroll subsidies to the private sector for 2020 and 21. 4/ Mostly changes in deposits. 5/ Consolidated table including the budgetary central government and social security funds (SVB). 6/ The denominator is the average of total revenue in the previous three years. 7/ Defined as balance sheet liabilities of the central government except equities. Includes central government liabilities to the social security funds. Figure 4. Curaçao and Sint Maarten: Fiscal Developments Sources: Curaçao and Sint Maarten authorities; IMF

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The COVID-19 pandemic inflicted another major shock on the economies of Curaçao and Sint Maarten, which followed category 5 hurricanes in Sint Maarten in 2017 and the spillovers of the Venezuelan crisis on Curaçao. Despite the substantial response measures financed by The Netherlands, the economic contraction in 2020 was severe.