The two newly autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands face substantial challenges. Growth has been low, and unemployment high. The current account deficit has widened to worrisome levels, increasing the vulnerability of the peg to the U.S. dollar and stimulating calls for dollarizing or dissolving the currency union. A substantial adjustment is needed to bring the underlying current account deficit to historically sustainable levels over the medium term. This could be facilitated by measures to restrain credit growth, supported by fiscal consolidation.
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.