July 31, 2019

Prime Minister met with former US President Bill Clinton at Post Disaster Recovery conference

Oranjestad, Aruba—July 2019 – On June 4, 2019, Prime Minister of Aruba Evelyn Wever-
Croes spoke at the Post Disaster Recovery conference in St. Thomas. She was invited by the Clinton Global Initiative to speak about building a stronger, more resilient Caribbean in the face of climate change, extreme weather events, and natural disasters. The Post Disaster Recovery Conference brought together over 400 international leaders to develop solutions that address hurricane recovery needs facing the region while laying the foundation for a more resilient and prosperous future.

The talks highlighted recovery success stories and focused on the need to increase resilience ahead of the 2019 hurricane season, and exploring long-term sustainability through better infrastructure, policies, and systems. During a panel discussion at the conference, four leaders from the Caribbean region, including Prime Minister Wever-Croes, met with former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Clinton and the four other panel members spoke about small business growth in the region. Prime Minister Wever-Croes said that although Aruba is outside of the hurricane belt, it is important for island nations to focus on societal problems that existed before the disaster and finding ways to solve them so that recovery isn’t hampered. She said this includes combating public distrust, and an overregulation of small businesses that has made it hard to attract new investment. “Even though we are not in the danger zone for hurricanes, we have other challenges like the crisis in Venezuela. The important thing is to have a resilient economy and a solid foundation on which to build the country,” said Prime Minister Wever-Croes. Prime Minister Wever-Croes says that Aruba hopes to serve as a role model for other countries through the implementation of a new economic policy in which innovation and e-government will play a central role. “We are here to share ideas and experiences and figure out how we can better help the entire Caribbean become stronger, safer, and more sustainable,” said Clinton. “The political and economic stability in Aruba, in combinations with our government’s aggressive strategy is opening new international opportunities for Aruba,” said Prime Minister Wever-Croes.

The Aruban Prime Minister added, “The trip to St. Thomas was very successful, especially because several investors expressed their interest in Aruba. Our island is known for tourism, and now we are putting Aruba on an international platform that can help boost our economy.”