Monday, September 22, 2014

What really makes a firm competitive?

What really makes a firm competitive, thereby increasing its ability to survive, export or be viable partner to existing or potential partners? That is the topic of our upcoming seminar at the Central Bank of Curacao and St Maarten on October 2, 300-6pm. The seminar is part of Curacao Competes 2014, following the Global Competitiveness Study the company recently did. Tamira La Cruz will share the findings of the study, Guido Rojer Jr. will highlight how industry and universities can collaborate, while Marcos Cova will discuss if and how firms can work together (cluster) to increase their competitiveness.  The participation fee is ANG 145,--. Register here or contact us email

Like in other countries, in Curacao we also look at government to manage taxes, cost of doing business, and other issues well enough to make our country and our firms competitive. According to the World Economic Forum and based on its Global Competitiveness Report, the sophistication and innovation of firms is also important for competitiveness and productivity in the 21st century . 

Basically these indicators refer to the firms’ degree of market orientation, efficiency and professional management. Competitiveness and productivity are important because they allow firms to survive local and incoming competition, export and be viable partners to incoming foreign investors or international partners in general.

Curacao’s largest trading partners,  the US and the European Union, but also our competitors in the Caribbean have been investing heavily in these areas as a result of these insights.  The EU recently launched a euro 8 billion program for research in many areas that will increase the competitiveness of European firms and their countries. The Inter-American Development Bank, the UK and Canada are investing USD 40 million in Cariforum countries to increase their competitiveness. To continue to be a viable local partner for your existing or emerging international partner, firms must

Recently 82 professionals in Curacao, including many executive officers and captains of industry, assessed the business sophistication and innovation of local firms through the Global Competitiveness Study. Analysis shows that, not surprisingly, there is room for improvement. It’s not surprising because since local firms are unaware of the specific relevant indicators, they do not necessarily invest in them.

At the seminar Tamira La Cruz, CEO of MarkStra Caribbean, researcher and business strategist, will discuss relevant indicators and share the findings of the study for Curacao. Guido Rojer, Jr. of the University of Curacao, will highlight how industry and universities can collaborate, among others to increase the efficiency of firms and achieve better alignment, while Marcos Cova, entrepreneur and board member of several trade associations, will discuss how and if firms can collaborate (in clusters) to the benefit of all. The afternoon will be moderated by Stacey Rene.