International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Weak growth and underlying structural vulnerabilities persist in both Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Worsened macroeconomic conditions—reflecting the spillovers from one of Curaçao’s largest trading partners and the devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Sint Maarten—make the need for policy adjustment and structural reforms aimed at ensuring fiscal sustainability, enhancing competitiveness, strengthening investor confidence, and developing capacity more urgent.
The 2008 Article IV Consultation analyzes the promise of fiscal discipline and debt relief that has boosted investor confidence and growth in the Kingdom of the Netherlands—Netherlands Antilles. Although exports moderated temporarily, tourism was a bright spot owing to improvements in competitiveness as a result of infrastructure investments, and cost controls from immigration. Executive Directors encouraged the authorities to take the opportunity provided by the large debt relief from the Netherlands government under the dissolution agreement to set the budget and the economy on a more sustainable footing.
This 2005 Article IV Consultation for the Netherlands Antilles’ reports that economic growth has been feeble so far in this decade, in the midst of economic policy drift. Growth has been constrained by still inflexible labor markets, widespread state ownership and interference in commercial activities, and insufficient investment in infrastructure and human capital. At the same time, free migration to the Netherlands has kept wages high. Persistent budget deficits and a large and growing public debt have also remained unaddressed.