Comments to the keynote of:
the Minister of Economic Affairs, Communication, and Sustainable Development, Mr. Geoffrey B. Wever
Trade organization Comerciante Uni Aruba organized a Business Networking Event, held on March 22nd, 2023, at the Hyatt Place Aruba Airport, where the Minister of Economic Affairs, Communication, and Sustainable Development, Mr. Geoffrey B. Wever, delivered a keynote speech. As an attendee of the events, I share some of his messages with you. The Minister was eloquent and presented with confidence. He emphasized the importance of sustainable development in decision-making, especially in the context of Aruba’s economy. Minister Wever highlighted the significant growth of Aruba’s economy since the Status Aparte, which was mainly driven by tourism. However, as the industry expands, available physical space for further development is becoming limited, and infrastructure and facilities are under pressure. The Minister also pointed out that Aruba’s economic development has been primarily focused on tourism, which has resulted in a labor-intensive industry and an excessive increase in population. As a result, the real GDP per capita has been decreasing slightly since the year 2000, and there is a need to switch to economic formulas that are sustainable, stable, and resilient. In a recent column, I also addressed my concern regarding the decreasing GDP per capita despite the economic growth.
To address these urgent social, economic, and environmental challenges, Minister Wever mentioned the National Action Plan 2023-2025, created through interactive participation sessions with public, private, and academic stakeholders. According to him, the plan emphasizes sustainable and inclusive economic diversification and guarantees the quality of collective basic facilities necessary to facilitate life and economic activities in Aruba. He invited everyone to contribute to the realization of this plan with a renewed focus on long-term objectives. He emphasized that the execution of this plan can only be successful if we work together, both in the public and private sectors.
The Minister’s speech highlighted the need for sustainable development in decision-making and the importance of long-term economic objectives. It was a call to action for all of us to contribute to realizing a more sustainable, inclusive, and future-proof economic model for Aruba. It was a call for us, members of Comerciante Uni Aruba, to give a hand.
As businesses and entrepreneurs, we have a role to play in this transition, and I urge all of us to take up the challenge and work towards a better future for our island.