Gibson: Monetary union has pros and cons

Minister of Finance Richard Gibson

PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Finance Richard Gibson is of the view that the monetary union between St. Maarten and Curaçao will have positive benefits for especially Curaçao in light of the economic challenges facing the island. Speaking in light of the discussions surrounding Curaçao wanting its own central bank, Minister Gibson suggested that the economic situation there is being triggered by the challenges in Venezuela.

“On the other hand, you have issues such as Venezuela, which is probably Curaçao’s biggest trading partner and given the state of the economy of Venezuela, it is quite a blow to the Curaçao economy,” Gibson said. “It will have effects on the reserves at the central bank to be able to cope with that shortfall in trade reduction with Venezuela, and of course St. Maarten’s contribution in foreign exchange will help Curaçao in those circumstances where it has quite an impact on its economy,” the Minister explained.

Minister Gibson said having a monetary union between St. Maarten and Curaçao has its pros and cons. “The situation could be just the reverse, where we might have some kind of economic setback and then we would want some kind of back up in terms of our reserves and then having the monetary union would be helpful to us. There are pros and cons as far as the monetary union is concerned,” Minister Gibson said.

However, the Minister stressed there are several issues that concerns the monetary union and the central bank that continue to be contentious. However, a specific course of action, view or decision relative to the monetary union has not been taken by the government.