‘More focus in economic cooperation in the Dutch Kingdom’ interview with EBA-director Koert van Buiren
In april 2021, Amsterdam Bureau for Economics / Economisch Bureau Amsterdam (EBA) launched data-tool CARIBBEAN ANALYTICS and STATISTICS (CAS) and the Caribbean Investment Climate Index (CICI). Reason for daily newspaper Amigoe for an interview with EBA-director Koert van Buiren about the Aruban economy, the challenges and the opportunities.
Economisch Bureau Amsterdam launches new online data-tool
Data on Caribbean countries is difficult to find. Economisch Bureau Amsterdam, in collaboration with Sofiris, developed an online data tool that brings together economic, institutional and financial data about the Caribbean: CARIBBEAN ANALYTICS and STATISTICS. The data tool is freely accessible and is regularly updated.
‘For our research in the Caribbean region, we often have to search different sources to get the necessary data. We have now bundled this into a data tool that is accessible to everyone,’ says Koert van Buiren, director of Economisch Bureau Amsterdam. ‘We hope to contribute to more data-driven policymaking in the region, and in particular in Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten. And we want to improve the ability of the general public to monitor economic developments. Especially in these times, when the economy is being hit so hard and unemployment and government debt are rising rapidly, it is important for citizens and companies to be able to keep up with developments’.
Caribbean countries are often missing from international economic rankings. Economisch Bureau Amsterdam, in collaboration with Sofiris, developed an index for the Caribbean region that measures the attractiveness of the investment climate: the Caribbean Investment Climate Index (CICI).
Aruba and Curaçao score high on this index, because of the openness of the economy and the strength of the institutions. The CICI can be used to measure the effects of the reform programs (landspaketten) that will be implemented by Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten in the coming years. Investing in data availability would improve the quality of this measurement. Read here more .
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba receive a vrije uitkering from the central government for the funding of government tasks. In determining the amount of the vrije uitkering, no account is taken of demographic and economic developments, while such developments do affect the costs of the island tasks. The development of the vrije uitkering also contrasts sharply with the development of expenditure by the central government in the Caribbean Netherlands. The vrije uitkering is due for revision.
Amsterdam Bureau for Economics, commissioned by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, mapped out the financial flows between the central government and the public entities Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba and developed a new methodology for the vrije uitkering. Amsterdam Bureau for Economics also advised on how to implement the Council of State’s (Raad van State) proposal to expand the BES-fund with an investment fund. With this investment fund – provided a number of preconditions have been met – backlogs in public servcies in the Caribbean Netherlands can be eliminated more effectively and efficiently. Read the full report here.
Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten are hit harder by the corona crisis than other Caribbean countries. The estimated contraction of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2020 is twice as high as the Caribbean average for the three countries. Read the article here.
Prediction Dutch Eredivisie 2020-2021: Ajax will be champion and the corona measures determine the relegation battle.
“Op een slof en een oude voetbalschoen” and for the third time in a row Ajax ends at the top of the table this season. The duration of the corona measures determines who qualifies for European football and who will relegate. The battle for third place this season will be between AZ and Feyenoord; the battle for preservation will be between ADO Den Haag and FC Emmen.
This is the conclusion drawn by Koert van Buiren of Economisch Bureau Amsterdam / Amsterdam Bureau for Economics (EBA) on the basis of the Eredivisie econometric Prediction Model, which they developed together with Tom Smits and Erik Brouwer of SEO Economic Research (SEO).
Read the whole article here (in Dutch).
Caribbean region caught in trap of low growth, high debt, and no access to capital.
A “silent crisis” with virtually no economic growth has taken place in the Caribbean region over the past decade. This is caused by natural disasters, economic shocks, low competitiveness, high government debt and limited access to international capital and funds. The Corona crisis comes on top of this; without international help, social and economic life will deteriorate drastically with lower incomes and more poverty.
This is the main conclusion in the research report “Small Islands, Major Challenges” by Amsterdam Bureau for Economics, which was drawn up on behalf of the Commission for Kingdom Relations of the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer der Staten Generaal). The research report was presented to the House of Representatives on the 14th of May 2020. The research purpose is the need of the Commission to gain insight into the economic potential of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, and into the possibilities and the obstacles to utilizing this potential. An addendum has been added to the report that discusses the economic impact of the Corona crisis and what this means for the conclusions and recommendations of the report.
The prolonged lack of economic reforms has caused that Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten are being hit by the Corona crisis when already faced with a weakened economic structure. Without a comprehensive reform program, the countries’ post-Corona growth path is likely to be below the pre-Corona growth path due to higher indebtedness, higher unemployment and reduced international demand for tourism.
On a positive note, Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten have a favorable starting position compared to the region: a high level of income, open economies, extensive economic potential, strong institutions and the position in the Dutch Kingdom. Implementing a comprehensive reform program will make countries economically resilient, with a favorable economic outlook. Reforms should focus on the labor market, the business climate, the capital market, the public sector, healthcare and social security. A reform program takes a process of years; it is important that reforms are no longer postponed such that Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten emerge stronger from the Corona crisis. Positive effects can already occur in the short term because of the positive signal that modernization of the economy has on investors and on markets.
In the Caribbean Netherlands, substantial socio-economic improvements have been achieved over the past decade. From now on, attention should focus more on strengthening the earning capacity of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.
Significant quality improvements and cost savings can be achieved in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom if government tasks will be performed together (i.e. at Kingdom level). The Kingdom can therefore gain economic strength and provide citizens and businesses with certainty that government tasks that are essential for socio-economic development are carried out adequately in all countries of the Kingdom. The Corona crisis has prompted reconsideration and optimization of the economic order in the Kingdom.
You can find the report “Small Islands, Major Challenges” here (in Dutch).
Would like to know more? Contact Koert van Buiren: email@example.com
or + 31- (0) 6-125 05 395
The Amsterdam Bureau for Economics exists 1 year!
A year ago we started chasing our dream: building a new Economics Bureau to help our clients. with thorough analyses, practical solutions and smart implementation.
The first year of the Amsterdam Bureau for Economics was better than we dared to dream, thanks to the trust of our clients and cooperation partners in the Netherlands and internationally. We advised on the housing market, public transport, aviation, economic growth policy, healthcare, competition and public finance. Moreover, we helped organizations with interim management positions.
We want to serve you even better the upcoming years. That is why we are going to grow, develop new products and strengthen our cooperation with other specialists. With the aim of helping our customers with the right knowledge, smart products and useful advice. You can trust that we manage.
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Health Market Inquiry South Africa
The Health Market Inquiry, carried out by the South African Competition Commission, has been completed. This is one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted in this field. As a member of the independent panel of experts, Cees van Gent (associate partner at the Amsterdam Bureau for Economics) played an important role in the research.
The findings and recommendations are also relevant for the Netherlands, which, like South Africa, uses market incentives to manage health care. South Africa, however, goes a step further. For example, the private hospital sector in South Africa – roughly half the size in the Netherlands – is dominated by three stock-listed groups. The consequences of this are also relevant to the Dutch policy debate.
Would you like to know more? Contact Cees van Gent (firstname.lastname@example.org or
+ 31- (0) 6-396 56 440)