International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The currency union of Curaçao and Sint Maarten has important strengths, including a high level of development, good infrastructure, and relatively low public debt. However, preserving these going forward will require surmounting some critical challenges. GDP per capita is already at high-income country levels, but the islands must combat lackluster growth and high unemployment levels by addressing weak competitiveness and improving the investment environment. The fiscal situation remains relatively stable, following the debt relief in 2010, but sustained efforts on fiscal and structural reforms are required to lock in gains and ensure continued fiscal and debt sustainability. The authorities' structural reform plans are welcomed, but continuity in policy will be essential going forward, particularly in the context of the upcoming elections in both countries, scheduled for September 2016.