Aruba is experiencing some of the best moments in its history.Located 15 miles off the Venezuelan coast, Aruba was discovered and claimed bySpain in1499.Today, the country’s two main economic pillars are tourism andoil; the 2008-2009 global economic crisis hit the island hard.The government launched two major programs, called Bo Aruba (Your Aruba) and BoBario (Your Neighborhood), to rejuvenate and improve the country’s capitalOranjestad and its second-largest city San Nicolas – whose development isundeniably linked to the oil refinery – as well as 21 other neighborhoods on theisland.
“We have made tough policy decisions that ensured everyone – government,employers, unions, and employees – shared in the sacrifice by making structuralreforms in social security, health care and pension systems. We reached thesedecisions through a process of national consensus known as ‘social dialogue’which is based on a Dutch political process that we borrowed and adapted toAruba,” says Mr. Eman, Prime Minister of Aruba.Aruba is undergoing a process, of deep structural reforms that are already positivelychanging not just the face but the heart and soul of the country.The small island is increasingly becoming an example of good governance,environmental consciousness, cultural diversity and peaceful coexistence, as wellas economic diversification and international cooperation.
The new government has adopted a holistic approach, termed ‘Green Gateway’, totransform Aruba into a knowledge-based entrepreneurial and environmentallysustainable economy.The buzzwords today in Aruba are green, entrepreneurism,knowledge, sustainability, diversification and quality, all of which can be foundthroughout the country’s economic vision called ‘Green Gateway: a knowledge-driven, entrepreneurial economy’.A three-year strategy (2011- 2013), the idea of Green Gateway symbolizes aninnovative and competitive economy of free trade and enterprise, faircommerce, and corporate social responsibility, all in the context of Aruba’s uniquelydistinct cultural, geopolitical and environmental assets.
Strong U.S. links, longstanding Dutch connections and a geostrategic location combineto position Aruba as a robust gateway between the U.S., the EU and Latin Americafor commerce, political dialogue and investment.
An island of opportunities: This small tropical country is experiencing strong economicstability and attracting foreign investors.
Read de Country Report hereThe modern infrastructure and development on the tropical Caribbean island of Arubacould not have been put in place without the constant support and financing from thelocal banking sector.The Aruban banks work closely with the government, the local population andinternational investors which led to huge growth in the late 1980s;sustained, steady growth in the 1990s and now again, coming offof the worldwide economic recession, contributed to a growthin GDP of 8.9% in 2011.“Aruba’s economy is sustained by SMEs,” explains Frendsel Giel, Managing Director ofAIB. “Some entrepreneurs have great ideas, but not the funds to support theproject so a guaranteed fund will be established by the private sector and financialinstitutions to assist those entrepreneurs to realize their plans.”Read the Country Report here