The Aruban government is using a wide variety of tools to reshape the nation and vie for international investment dollars
A combination of initiatives are being put in place by the administration of Prime Minister Mike Eman to sharpen Aruba’s competitive edge in the global investment market. “In the context of striving to successfully meet the challenges of the global economy on new terms, we have set the course to fundamentally transform leadership in Aruba with social-economic progress based on smart growth, capable of addressing the enormous challenge of delivering a lasting prosperity,” says Mr. Eman.
Key actions by the government include reforms in the nation’s tax, energy, pension and health structures, physically revamping Aruba’s main cities of Oranjestad and San Nicolas, strengthening the country’s international standing, and diversifying its economy through clean energy projects.
The total restructuring of the tax system in Aruba under way will result in increased revenues and reduce the annual budget deficit, which has already shown a dramatic reduction in recent years. In 2010, the current-account deficit reached 17% of GDP, but was reduced to 8.8% in 2011 and this year is expected to drop further to 7.8%.
Pension and healthcare reforms have addressed ever-increasing costs and are expected to stabilize the future bills the government will receive.
Becoming the ‘Green Gateway’ between Latin America, the United States and Europe and developing Aruba’s renewable energy sources will also bolster the nation’s coffers.
“I am pleased to say that our policies and progress have not gone unnoticed by the credit rating agencies of Fitch and Standard & Poor’s. Both rating agencies recently affirmed Aruba’s sovereign credit ratings. Standard & Poor’s even positively adjusted its future outlook for Aruba,” says Mr. Eman. “Both agencies have thus indicated their confidence in the current government’s policies, at a time when they are downgrading the credit outlooks for many governments around the world.”