Press release

SER Curaçao presents 2021 Annual Report

WILLEMSTAD, December 14, 2022 – ,,Building trust, cooperation and resilience”. That is the title of the 2021 annual report of the Social and Economic Council (SER) of Curaçao presented to the government today. Prime Minister Mr. Gilmar Pisas accepted the first copy from the hands of Acting SER President Mr. John Jacobs and General Secretary Drs. Raul Henriquez.

The annual report looks back on 2021, which, according to the advisory body, “was in many ways a challenging and particularly vulnerable year, especially from a socioeconomic perspective.” According to the SER of Curaçao, after the extremely tough Corona year (2020), the second half of 2021, showed hopeful signs (for example, the spectacular growth in stayover tourism and the growth in information and communication sectors and investment projects of real estate activities) that pointed to slight recovery, although across the board the labor force and labor productivity continued to decline with an increase in emigration.

,,This trend is expected to continue, due to current global developments, and employment may not return to 2019 levels until 2023, but by then the economy will not have returned to pre-corona crisis levels. Thus, the same level of employment will bring less earnings. In other words, impoverishment at the national level. Seen in this light, it is not incomprehensible that the government’s lack of decisiveness and managerial power experienced by large groups in society causes anger and frustration. Self-evident things are no longer self-evident. The COVID-19 crisis has taught us that. This hard lesson calls for critical reflection on policies and practices of government, social partners and citizens.”

The foreword to the annual report emphasizes that Curaçao is a beautiful country, with a great deal of potential. ,,It is our duty to use this potential to its fullest. We owe it to future generations. The key words here are “trust” and “cooperation”. Not a naive, blind trust, but a healthy and mature trust, in which we recognize our inherent vulnerabilities as a small island development state and within this context continue to seek workable and effective solutions to issues and challenges, which do not only come upon us because of our open economy and relatively vulnerable position as a microstate in a rapidly changing and complex world, but which are also characteristic to our insularity , culture and mentality as a Caribbean country. Trust in each other, trust that cooperation is the basis for growth and development, trust in the power of initiative and resourcefulness of the inhabitants of this country and others, both within and outside the Kingdom, who care about Curaçao and see it as a potential place to settle; confidence in government policy, at least in the intentions behind it, however partially based on institutional imperfections (including lack of cooperation and management problems within the administrative and official organization); confidence in self-regulating processes in which government intervention is not automatically necessary; confidence in a stable and safe future for generations to come. It must be understood that trust does not develop overnight. A great deal of time and energy must be put into this, partly because tangible results are the basis of it.”

As the permanent advisory body to the government and parliament of Curaçao on socio-economic issues, the SER contributes to building that trust by issuing critical reflections and analyses in a tripartite context (employers, employees and independent experts), making concrete recommendations and outcome-oriented discussions with an impact on policy, legislation and regulations.

You can read the annual report here.