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Economist 2.0 versus economist 3.0

Dear Runy,

Thank you for inviting me to meet the economist of the Economist Platform of Curacao. Specially because you were discussing the economic outlook for Curacao 2013.

I had to think a lot about the meeting.  I do not want to express any negative feedback. But here are some of my thoughts.  Economy is about people.  It is a social science.  It is about human behavior, so it is about psychology. Economics 3.0 is a multidisciplinary science.

What will happen in the future is the effect of human behavior.  Investment will be determent by investors and not by investments.  To attract investments to the island we need to attract investors.  It is true investors are looking for opportunities to make a profit.  But based on my studies on the economy 3.0 I sugges tthe following recipe.  Continue the improve over law and order. Improve the ICT infrastructure.  That is what drives the economy 3.0. The next thing is "talent".  Creative people want to meet peers to create joined projects. Use our own creative people to attract these creative people.  Kelvin Jansen is bringing Magic Johnson to the island. And this is just one example. Another factor is nurture our tolerant society, because this creative class are "out of the box". My bet is that if you take these measures you will attract people, who will visit the island and might decide to do something, to invest.

It was brought up in the meeting that tourist are staying more and more with Face bookfriend.  So this is a challenge for the hotel industry. Human behavior has changed.  An economist should observe the human behavior to predict the future.  Numbers are based on past behavior.

The concept Human Capital still has no place in the economy. But it is eminent that it is the creativity and talent that drives the economy.  We talk about the size of the population in terms of numbers.  Sometimes we discuss the level of education, but we never talk about the talent of the individuals.  What would Curacao be without Gregory Elias, Jacob Geltdekker, prof. Pinedo, Kelvin Jansen, Mr. de Veer, Anthony de Lima. These are the investors.  But also these creative Dutch in Pietermaai area. And those renting bikes in the Caracasbaai area. There is still a focus on the tradidional factors Capital and Labor.  More than before the next generation will change the economy.  We do not study the next generation. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph they are changing the hospitality industry all ready.

In the economy 3.0 we should study global corporation.  They are the drivers. We still focus too much on states. Yes, we talk about the refinery, but it is about PDVSA.  If we talk about ICT we should try to talk with Microsoft or Apple. We should do the same when talking about solar panels. We never talk about corporations. Because this is a the traditional paradigm.

Environment and sustainability are not mentioned. We talk about the refinery but in terms of maintenance. How much economic activity will this generate?  But are there no other relevant issues regarding the refinery?

We did not talk much about globalization.  We only briefly mentioned the Euro crisis.  But we did not go into the possible next global financial crisis.   

We should have a concentrated effort in reaching out to investors.  If you Google "invest in Curacao", you get to a website. This is a good idea. But the site has not been update for a long time and is not branded.  This is because we do not apply the Deming circle.

A few months ago I already visited the platform. On that occasion we discussed the compliance by retailers when it comes to handeling sales tax.  Than we discussed the behavior of this group and it seems that a lot of them were openly not complying.  What I also saw on that occasion was the generalization.  The government approaches all  business people as possible criminals.  This is not good for our investment climate.  Also the service of the agencies who are part of the procedures regarding taxation are not efficient and customer friendly.

These are just a few observations I want to share with you.  If you have any questions, please contact me.  I am trying to give a positive contribution and so contribute the upgrading of Curacao to the level 3.0.

A few suggestions. We need a more behavior science approach of economy inCuracao.  The great asset of the platform is its consistency.  There is this monthly cycle.  But I would set more clear objectives and start turning the Deming Cycle towards those objectives.

Best regards,

Miguel

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