The launch of the Strategic Trade Development Roadmap (STDR) formed an important highlight of the day. The STDR was approved by the Council of Ministers on April 22nd, 2020, and is the first concrete output for the National Export Strategy of Curaçao. This strategy identifies six priority sectors that have the potential for growth, which are IT services, education services, port and maritime services, tourism, creative industries, financial services.
Facilitating intra-Caribbean trade through e-commerce was also a salient topic. While acknowledging that e-commerce and digitization present several challenges, participants ultimately agreed to form an e-commerce taskforce that will be coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Development. This taskforce will focus on composing a plan of action to tackle the Caribbean region in terms of e-commerce.
When and how Curaçao’s tourism industry will recover was another noteworthy highlight of the day. CHATA believes that this crisis poses an opportunity to take our destination, government infrastructure, and how we do business to the next level, but this will require courage and an out of the box thinking to re-invent ourselves as a country. We can also gear-up for tourism recovery by lowering our cost of doing business, putting new policies in place, inducing an innovative tax reform, identifying new products and markets, and investing in the tourism & hospitality workforce.
It is also important for us to start the dialogue of re-opening our borders in the future as soon as possible for the tourism sector to prepare itself and have all partners working together to revive the tourism industry.