Success factors and pitfalls for an export business model
On day #4 of this five-day event, the success factors and pitfalls were examined for finance and tax functions when implementing an export business model. After analyzing a study done by Marija Lindemane in 2011, it is apparent that there is much room for improvement in Curaçao’s practices for exporting financial services and products.
Although many on the island have made the case for Curaçao to become the “new Cayman” of the Caribbean, international tax compliance laws like CRS/BEPS/FATCA indicate that the world is moving into another direction and this is no longer feasible. Many experts predict that mid-shore structures may even surpass offshore options in terms of popularity. Export facility regulations thus need to be heavily promoted and investing in human capital will also be crucial. This will namely lead to the invention of new products and services that Curaçao can export, generating valuable foreign income.
Curaçao’s National Quality Policy and Infrastructure
Another highlight was the discussion of the establishment of a community to restore Curaçao’s quality-conscious private sector and consumer-reliant enterprises. The main ingredients to establish a National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) are already present for Curaçao’s National Quality Policy and Infrastructure but the Curaçao Quality Foundation will have to be revived with an advisory role to the Minister of Economic Development. The National Development Plan can also be enhanced through the NQI.
The governance of this infrastructure must also be conducted through commitment and leadership based on trust and respect as well as sustainability through continuous improvement, long-life education through certified services, economic growth through conformity, and a national identity anchored in a culture of quality. It is also of vital importance to start developing consumer awareness through public education. In addition, Curaçao must reinstate the relationships and contacts with regional quality institutions and equip local industries to comply with international quality standards. But they must also measure this compliance more efficiently.
The Curaçao Manufacturing Sector
A presentation was also given of a study conducted by the Curaçao Manufacturers Association (CMA) about the potential of the manufacturing sector to make a significant contribution to the economy of Curaçao. The impact of the local manufacturing sector is namely larger than was previously estimated. Their impact is most visible in the contribution to the GDP, employment, and wages.
And despite the fact that the COVID-crisis has had a huge impact on the sector, it still remains an important contributor to the economy. Especially taking into account its value to secure the availability of basic materials to fight the pandemic such as soaps, disinfectants, hygienic paper, hand sanitizers, etcetera. It is therefore imperative to create the enabling infrastructure and economic/legal framework to consolidate and grow this sector as soon as possible. Now is the time to join forces to give this sector a push and realize its benefits for the economy, employment, health, and investments. The time for action is now. Stop talking and let’s start acting!