Known primarily in the United States as a luxurious Caribbean vacation destination, the small island of Aruba, just 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela, is also one of the most stable economies in its region with continual growth within industry and a strategic international position, making it a secure and rewarding place for investments.
Aruba forms part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and all of its natives enjoy Dutch citizenship and are governed by a parliamentary system. Because of these ties to Europe, the island has organized its country according to European standards such as the Dutch judicial system and education. The highly skilled workforce is multilingual speaking the official language of Dutch, the native language of Papiamento and dominating English because of a thriving tourism industry.
European rule has allowed for Aruba to have political stability and easy access from the European market. Additionally, the proximity to the U.S. and South America give it a strategic location to become an international business hub.
The government takes advantage of Aruba’s ideal geopolitical situation by focusing on international developments, generating legislation for an investment-friendly environment in its most dynamic industries: tourism, oil refining, international trade and finance.
For the past 20 years, Aruba has experienced significant economic growth. The economy rose rapidly in the late 1980s seeing unprecedented double-digit numbers and slowing down to a steady, moderate pace in the 90s.
“We had a decline in GDP in 2009-10, which was mostly related to the world recession,” explains the President of the Central Bank of Aruba, Jeanette Semeleer, adding that the island nation again experienced satisfactory growth in 2011, as well.
“Tourism was very strong [in 2011] and if you look at all indicators in terms of arrivals and declaratory receipts we see very good, positive data.”
To handle such an influx of tourism, Aruba continuously maintains its physical infrastructure, expanding airport facilities and regularly upgrading water, electricity plants and the telecommunication facilities.
“The bottom line is: every technological update that takes place in other parts of the world, takes place in Aruba as well,” says Roland Croes, Director of the Aruban telecommunications company SETAR. “By following the American and European models, visitors can instantly feel at home when they come to Aruba.”
Tourism is made especially convenient because the Aruban currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar allowing for stability within its economy and for most American transactions to be done in U.S. dollars.
This constant economic stability makes the country not only a safe location to visit, with one of the lowest crime rates in the region, but also a safe place to invest.