WASHINGTON: During the first half of 2016, the Curaçao Ports Authority (CPA), together with Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath, travelled to Cuba to start negotiations for an agreement between the ports of the two countries. The negotiations continued in the month of October of last year and eventually led to an agreement in which CPA and the Port Authority of Cuba, formally called Administración Portuaria Nacional de Cuba (“APN”) have agreed to work closer together. Cuba is in a development process which all the countries in the region should take into account. The maritime industry, including the cruise sector, will surely be affected as Cuba continues to evolve and continues to expand its market. During the talks both APN as CPA have expressed their willingness to share their knowledge and experiences, “which will bring advantages for our port and community,” said De Castro, Director (CEO) of CPA. “A strategic alliance between the ports of Cuba and Curaçao will offer our harbor the opportunity to explore commercial activities in the region together with the Cuban harbor. The main goal and the starting point for all projects will be common interests for the ports,” said De Castro
The next step will now be to draw up an action plan with a list of operations, which will be addressed by CPA and APN in the coming weeks. A delegation of APN will also visit Curaçao to see the new Port Management System, which was recently implemented by CPA. Minister Rhuggenaath indicated that Cuba and Curaçao have a lot in common. “Here we must not only look at the commercial area but also the growth opportunities for both countries through the exchange of knowledge, with the aim of complementing and reinforcing each other,” said the Minister. “A more detailed program to connect the population to their past and aspirations should be part of a subsequent conversation,” concludes the Minister.