For the nations of Curaçao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten as well as the Caribbean Netherlands of Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius, the Netherlands offers investment opportunities.
The investments should boost the six islands’ ability to grow economically, increase their financial and economic independence, speed up the energy transition, and raise their standard of living and employment. The Cabinet is putting into effect one of the coalition agreement’s accords with this.
Curacao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten investment plan
The Netherlands reserves a maximum of 200 million euros from the National Growth Fund (NGF) to help Curaçao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten prosper economically. The Countries may submit projects that indubitably have a significant impact on the Countries’ sustainable earning capability in order to be eligible for the grants. The requirement is that the proposals be of high quality for initiatives in the areas of energy transition, climate adaptation, education, government digitization, basic infrastructure (logistics infrastructure, water treatment, and waste processing), cost-effective food production, and enhancing the sustainability of the economy (particularly tourism). A tranche of 100 million euros will be made initially available. A second opening of up to 100 million euros is possible if first one is overrun by excellent ideas that satisfy assurances and criteria that will be established. Following consultation with the Countries, the investment program will be developed in the upcoming months.
Transition to guarantee system for energy
SDE resources (Stimulation of Sustainable Energy Production and Climate Transition) can be set aside to fund one or a few cost-effective projects in order to accelerate the energy transition in Curaçao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten. These are initiatives that ought to contribute significantly to the nations’ energy transition. To determine the extent to which projects are feasible for promoting sustainable energy generation and/or CO2 reduction, TNO will begin a study in the summer. In order to produce a major portion of electricity responsibly and at a lower cost to businesses and consumers, this includes, for instance, boosting the capacity of solar and wind energy. Additionally, this heightens the interest in hydrogen generation and export.
Last but not least, the government is creating a customized guarantee program to encourage financing to sound businesses in Curaçao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten. Guarantee programs assist businesses that lack sufficient collateral in obtaining funding. Such arrangements are now anticipated to be absent from Curaçao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten. In contrast to the Netherlands, businesses from the agricultural and fishing industries can also participate in the guarantee program. Due to the islands’ continued reliance on outside imports for fresh produce, this is important.
The Netherlands in the Caribbean
Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius are already qualified for funding from the SDE, National Growth Fund, and Caribbean Netherlands, as well as a guarantee program. Solutions that are specifically designed for these islands are offered to increase access to the guarantee and subsidy programs.
Therefore, the government releases 30 million euros from the NGF for the Caribbean Netherlands and is creating a separate program to increase the Caribbean Netherlands’ sustainable earning capability. The themes for this investment program for the Caribbean Netherlands will be similar to those for Curaçao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten because Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba, like the Countries, have a fragile economic structure that is heavily dependent on tourism and imports.
The Caribbean Netherlands received €33.6 million in September of last year from the SDE and Regio Enveloppe resources. With this, specialized projects are already being carried out to increase the sustainability of energy production. On Bonaire, a new solar park with more than 10,000 solar panels—enough for 5,000 homes—is currently being constructed.
Despite the fact that the Borgstelling MKB-kredieten (BMKB) has been modified to meet local needs and requirements, businesses in CN now use it sparingly. This guarantee program will be promoted more to businesses and banking and non-bank financiers alongside the Public Entities. Local firms may receive additional loans as a result, increasing their ability to invest.
The three programs for Curaçao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten will be further expanded and more specialized solutions will be created for the Caribbean Netherlands in the upcoming months. Before the summer, discussions will begin with the Countries and the Caribbean Netherlands to go over the three instruments’ substantive frameworks. Additionally, it will be looked at how to best assist the countries and the Caribbean Netherlands in the creation and execution of initiatives. Source: Central Administration
First Caribbean conference on climate and energy
The first Caribbean Climate and Energy Conference (CCEC) was held in Aruba and the Netherlands from May 10 to 12. The conference, which was held in Aruba, aimed to bring together island nations to promote inter-island cooperation and to share information and best practices about issues that arise on islands as a result of climate change.
The conference resulted in tangible outcomes, such as cooperation agreements for more cheap and sustainable energy in Aruba, Sint Maarten, and Curaçao, the establishment of a new four-country dialogue, and a transition plan for the Kingdom. Additionally, bottlenecks have been found that will be fixed before the following CCEC.