This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix explores four policy issues—fiscal policy, public sector pension reforms, monetary management, and labor market performance—which are crucial for understanding the recent performance of the economy of the Netherlands Antilles and which will need to be addressed to restore the prospect of durable economic growth. The paper reviews experience with fiscal adjustment in the Netherlands Antilles, focusing in particular on the 1996–97 adjustment program. The paper also analyzes the sustainability of the public pension system of the country.
The past decade has witnessed a progressive weakening of the Antillean economy, and prospects for a recovery depend on reinvigorating and sustaining adjustment. There is a need for more vigorous reforms, well coordinated across governments and supported by building social consensus. Fiscal policy can support growth over the medium term by reforming the tax system and lowering the tax and administrative burden on the private sector. Continuing progress with structural reforms is critical to improve the prospects for job creation and economic growth.
This review of financial sector regulation and supervision in the Kingdom of the Netherlands—Netherlands Antilles explains banking, insurance, and pension fund supervision. The Netherlands Antilles is resolved to remove the perception created by placement of the jurisdiction in the weakest category of the list of offshore financial centers, published by the Financial Stability Forum (FSF). Bank of the Netherlands Antilles (BNA) staff is highly capable, well-trained, and dedicated, and is able to attract appropriate personnel and material resources to perform its functions.
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.
This Selected Issues paper for the Kingdom of the Netherlands reports the Antillean economy lacks natural resources and is open and undiversified, relying mainly on exports of services such as tourism, international financial services, shipping, and oil refining. Exports and domestic consumer spending, both private and public, drove the economic recovery. Economic growth in the United States and the appreciation of the euro against the national currency contributed to the strong performance in the tourism sector.
Esta Guía ha sido elaborada para ayudar a las economías a participar en la Encuesta Coordinada sobre la Inversión Directa (ECID). La ECID, que se está llevando a cabo simultáneamente en todas las economías participantes, se basa en definiciones uniformes, e incentiva la adopción de prácticas óptimas para la recopilación, compilación y divulgación de datos sobre las posiciones de inversión directa. Por lo tanto, la ECID es una herramienta importante para cuantificar el total mundial de las posiciones de inversión directa y para representar su distribución geográfica, contribuyendo así a la formación de nuevas e importantes apreciaciones sobre el alcance de la globalización y al mejoramiento de la calidad general de los datos mundiales sobre inversión directa. Al momento de actualización de la Guía, más de 100 economías participaban en la ECID.
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.