(World Bank, 2020)
Curaçao: Investment Profile
Today, Curaçao presents itself as an excellent destination for visitors wishing to experience the island’s natural tranquility and Dutch-Caribbean culture, yet the country also attracts attention from businesses seeking investment opportunities in the region. Based outside of the hurricane belt, Curaçao benefits from many ports, a natural and well-developed deep-water harbor, and frequent flights connecting the island to multiple continents.
Curaçao’s economic stability and multilingual culture are bolstered by the island’s significant digital infrastructure, boasting 86.7 percent internet penetration, multiple data centers including the only Tier 4 data center in the Pan-Caribbean region, and a highly skilled talent pool.
With attractive offers available to tourists and businesses alike, Curaçao continues to position itself as an investment opportunity for international enterprises and an active hub within the Caribbean.
Why should entities invest in Curaçao (e.g sectors and benefits), and how does CINEX’s attract investment to the island?
Curaçao presents itself as an excellent destination for entities seeking investment opportunities in the Caribbean region. Various key elements make us ideal:
- Strategically located in the southern caribbean sea, outside of the hurricane belt.
- Various ports, including a well-developed Natural deep-water Harbour
- The island functions as a HUB with Daily/Weekly flights from Europe, United States, South/Central America and the Caribbean.
- Highly Skilled & Multilingual
- Scabale (Region & EU)
- Internet Penetration: 86.7%
- 4 Data Centers: 1 Tier IV (Only one in the Pan-Caribbean Region)
- DataHub: e.g., Acros 1, PanAm Americas II, EC-LINK
- Quality Real Estate
- High-Quality Dutch Legal System
- Political Stable Government
Curaçao offers various investment incentives to entities interested in investing, these include:
- Favorable corporate tax rates
- Tax Holiday for investment in most businesses
- E-zone Regime
- Preferential Access to the EU (OCT) and USA (CBI)
- 0% Profit Tax on profits from intangible assets
The government of Curaçao is actively working on providing red carpet treatment to businesses and investors:
- Recently the minister of economic development announced that, starting from August 15, 2023, the "Directievergunning" will be eliminated. Previously, persons not born in the Netherlands Antilles or legal entities not established there, who wish to become a director or commissioner of a Curaçao company, must possess a director's permit. Obtaining this permit used to be a time-consuming process. This is no longer necessary. Starting from August 15, 2023, the "Directievergunning" will be eliminated.
Considering these combined benefits, including its vibrant culture and natural beauty, Curaçao is becoming increasingly popular as an investment destination for entities looking for long-term success.
Curaçao National Export Strategy (NES)
In 2019, Curaçao embarked on a project to develop a National Export Strategy (NES), with a primary focus on seven distinct sectors revolving around technology and e-government. The NES vision reflects the country’s ambition to transform its economy into one that is driven by entrepreneurship, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, quality, and innovation. The NES is Curaçao’s 5-year path to diversify exports, drive economic development and increase foreign exchange earnings. The strategy is centered on “e-government for business” to facilitate exports and help Curaçao emerge as a more resilient and more sustainable economy, notably after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The strategy focuses on transforming the economic make-up of the country by upgrading and creating new value chains particularly in services exports. As a result, the forthcoming five years will prioritize attracting investments for these sectors, recognizing that investment is a prerequisite for successful exports.
These sectors are:
- Blue BioEconomy
- Renewable Energy
- Health & Wellness
- Creative industries
- IT Services
- Financial Services
- Port and Maritime Services
To know more about Curaçao’s National Export Strategy and the strategy for each of the sectors mentioned above , please follow the link below.
Recent News and Developments
Digital Hub Americas:
Curaçao ICT Sector Shines at CANTO 2023 Conference
From July 16 to 20, 2023, Curaçao made its mark at the 38th edition of the CANTO conference and exhibition in Miami. Led by the Minister of Economic Development, Mr. Ruisandro Cijntje, and the Minister of Traffic, Transportation, and Urban Planning, Mr. Charles Cooper, a delegation of at least 20 companies from the ICT sector showcased the island's prowess in the digital economy.
Curaçao's National Export Strategy 2022-2027 (NES) places a significant emphasis on the ICT sector as a key player in diversifying and growing the island's economy. During the welcome reception for the Curaçao delegation and guests from the Caribbean at the CANTO 2023 conference, the ministers reiterated their commitment to making ICT one of the economic pillars of Curaçao. The attending entrepreneurs expressed their confidence in this vision and pledged to collaborate with the government to achieve this goal.
A notable development at the conference was the unveiling of the "Digital Hub Americas" (DHA), an initiative backed by Blue Nap Americas and the Bureau Telecommunicatie & Post (BTP) with support from CINEX, CIFC, Simia, and the Chamber of Commerce. DHA aims to centralize all ICT service providers from Curaçao, promoting collaboration and positioning the island as a digital hub in the Caribbean and beyond. The platform facilitates interaction between companies, fostering the creation of new products and services and enhancing community and client services.
Minister of Traffic, Transport and Spatial Planning, Mr. Charles Cooper's, efforts to bring greater ICT representation to the CANTO conference were met with praise by Mrs. Teresa Wankin, Secretary-General of CANTO, during the event's official opening. With the Digital Hub Americas taking center stage this year, Curaçao is well-positioned to lead in the Caribbean's digital economy landscape.
As the National Export Strategy continues its implementation phase, the ICT sector's growth through DHA presents promising opportunities for Curaçao's economic development. For more information on Digital Hub Americas, please visit their website.
PROTEUS: The first International Space Station of the Ocean in Curaçao
In May of 2023, The Minister of Economic Development, Minister Ruisandro Cijntje, representing the government of Curaçao, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Proteus Ocean Group, represented by Ms. Lisa Marrochino, to establish a groundbreaking partnership. This collaboration, known as the Proteus project, aims to boost Curaçao's economy, foster scientific advancements, promote environmental conservation, and solidify the country's global reputation as a leader in ocean innovation.
The Proteus project offers a significant opportunity for Curaçao to fuel its economy by increasing tourism, creating permanent local jobs, and positioning the country as a leader in ocean innovation and technology.
At the heart of the Proteus project lies the state-of-the-art Proteus Habitat, also known as the "International Space Station of the Ocean." This cutting-edge underwater facility will serve as a hub for innovative research and development projects, including scientific research, oceanographic studies, robotics testing, extreme environmental testing, and sustainable blue economy initiatives. Collaboration with the University of Curaçao Dr. Moises da Costa Gomez will enhance research capabilities and foster academic partnerships.
Proteus is dedicated to promoting ocean sustainability, restoration, and conservation activities. By mandating the health of the reef areas surrounding Proteus, the project ensures the protection of rare ecosystems. Curaçao's commitment to environmental preservation will contribute to climate change adaptation, marine life conservation, and advancements in blue economy objectives.
Curaçao's role as the first host jurisdiction for Proteus establishes the country as a global leader in ocean conservation. The project's Immersive Experience Centers will attract tourism and raise awareness about the importance of ocean conservation. This will further enhance Curaçao's international status and visibility. Collaborative press and publicity efforts will maximize the public relations impact, benefiting both Curaçao and Proteus Ocean Group.
The MoU solidifies the cooperation between the parties, The Government of Curaçao and the Proteus Ocean Group, and their commitment to work together in the true spirit of partnership.
About the Proteus Project:
Introducing PROTEUS™ - Revolutionizing Ocean Exploration
PROTEUS™ is set to revolutionize our understanding and interaction with the Ocean from its favored jurisdiction in Curaçao. As a state-of-the-art modular underwater habitat, observatory, and laboratory, PROTEUS™ serves as a collaborative global platform for researchers, academics, government agencies, and corporations to advance Ocean science. This groundbreaking initiative by Proteus Ocean Group (POG), a private sector social enterprise, entails the construction and operation of a sustainable facility that enables significant advancements in climate solutions, renewable energy, future medicines, cures, and sustainable food sources. With its location in Curaçao, PROTEUS™ offers an unparalleled setting for scientists, innovators, and global customers to explore and study the Ocean.
Curaçao has initiated offshore surveys as part of the island’s ambitious plan to establish floating wind-to-hydrogen production.
Curaçao is making significant strides in reducing its reliance on fossil fuels and embracing sustainable energy sources. Currently, 40% of the island's energy production is derived from renewable sources, specifically wind and solar power. This achievement marks a substantial milestone in Curaçao's transition towards cleaner energy. Moreover, the nation has set its sights on reaching the 50% mark in the near future.
Curaçao's commitment to renewable energy is further exemplified by its recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of the Netherlands. Curaçao and the Netherlands signed an MoU back in May focusing on 'Renewable Energy.' Curaçao's Minister of Economic Development, Ruisandro Cijntje (PNP), and the Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy, Rob Jetten (D66) signed the MoU representing their respective governments. The objective of the MoU is for Curaçao to generate 5 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2035 through the implementation of offshore floating wind farms.
By undertaking such initiatives, Curaçao is poised to become a trailblazer in the Caribbean region, leading the way in sustainable energy practices.
Through these efforts, Curaçao is not only reducing its carbon footprint but also fostering a more environmentally conscious and resilient energy infrastructure. This transition towards sustainable energy sources reflects the island's dedication to mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and creating a greener future for its residents and the wider Caribbean community.
In line with this, the survey vessel, Fugro Brasilis, has arrived at the Port of Willemstad in Curaçao, ready to undertake these vital surveys. This significant undertaking is in line with our commitment to identifying areas for floating wind development, following the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the Curaçao government and the Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy.
Commencing on the 17th of July, and lasting until the 29th of July, these surveys marked the initial phase of our comprehensive exploration into the possibilities and feasibility of utilizing wind energy to produce green hydrogen while fostering the capacity to export clean fuels. Curaçao aims to position itself as a regional leader in wind energy-to-green hydrogen production, capitalizing on the findings of a study conducted by the esteemed Dutch organization for applied scientific research, TNO. The study highlighted the exceptional opportunity Curaçao possesses, owing to its strategic geographical location and favorable weather conditions, for highly efficient wind energy generation.
Led by Fugro, the offshore investigations play a pivotal role in this preliminary phase. These investigations will assess the potential, feasibility, and preferred options for our ambitious project. Specifically, the seabed survey, conducted within the borders of Curaçao's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), will collect vital preliminary data. This data will be instrumental in identifying and delineating areas that exhibit optimal geophysical characteristics, thus serving as prime sites for the installation of floating wind turbines.
These crucial surveys will pave the way for future development, as we strive to harness the power of wind energy and propel Curaçao towards a greener and more sustainable future!
New Industrial Commercial Zone
Curaçao's advantageous geographic position in the southern Caribbean makes it a prime hub for logistics and international trade. With its expansive deepwater port, the island offers abundant prospects in shipping, transshipment, warehousing, distribution, and logistics services, catering to the needs of businesses operating in the region. Curaçao boasts two Free Economic Zones and one Industrial Park, with plans underway to establish an additional industrial park in the near future. Our E-zone regime presents an attractive opportunity for companies seeking to utilize Curaçao as a strategic hub for operations spanning the Americas, Europe, or other global destinations.
At the request of the Minister of Economic Development, Mr. Ruisandro Cijntje, the Council of Ministers has agreed to change the designation of one third (1/3) of the economic zone located in Nieuwe Haven (Koningsplein). This portion will become an industrial/commercial area that will serve for economic activities such as production, logistics and technological services, among others. More than 60 companies, both local and international, will have the opportunity to establish themselves soon in this industrial/commercial area.
Our current industrial park in Brievengat has been full for some time and Curinde, which is responsible for managing the industrial park, indicated that they regularly receive more requests from companies that want to establish themselves in an industrial/commercial area. This was the reason why Curinde approached the Government of Curaçao in 2018 with the request to make the adjustment in the economic zone of Koningsplein to be able to meet the existing demand for an additional industrial/commercial area.
This request took some time, as it involves a change in the law, but finally the Ministry of Economic Development (MEO), the Ministry of Finance and Curinde can proudly announce that this has become a reality and thank the "Modernization of Economic Zones" commission for their hard work in finalizing this process.
The remaining two thirds of the area in Koningsplein will continue to be an economic zone and will continue with their regular activities. The area that will serve as an industrial/commercial area will have its own entrance through Dokweg, while the economic zone will continue to use the entrance from Nieuwe Haven. Curinde will work on the process of modernizing the economic zone law, which will also contribute to attracting other types of activities in the area.
Unlike the law that requires companies in the economic zone to export, companies in the industrial/commercial area do not necessarily have to be export-focused companies. Naturally, if one of the companies in the industrial/commercial area wants to export, they can do so freely. The companies established in this industrial/commercial area are subject to paying all taxes and VAT, which means that they will actively contribute to the economy of our country.
The air connectivity of Curaçao is of paramount importance for business and investment in the region. As a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Curaçao enjoys a strategic location in the Caribbean, making it a gateway to both North and South America, Europe, and other parts of the world. This advantageous location, combined with its well-established air transportation network, plays a vital role in promoting economic growth and attracting foreign investment to the island.
Hato International Airport is located near the capital city, Willemstad, and offers a range of services and facilities to accommodate travelers from various destinations. The airport has undergone several improvements and expansions over the years to cater to the increasing demand for air travel to and from Curaçao.
Several major airlines operate flights to and from Curaçao, connecting the island to various destinations around the globe. Some of the prominent airlines that serve Hato International
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, TUI Airways: American Airlines, Avianca, Air Canada, JetBlue Airways and AZUL.
Thinking of making Curaçao a (Temporary) home away from home?
In 2020, a project called @HomeinCuraçao was launched. The government of Curaçao provides an opportunity for remote workers, hibernators and Investors to live and work on the island for an extended period of time. To take advantage of this opportunity, all you need to do is request a judicial declaration through the provided link. Curaçao offers a distinct work-life balance. While staying connected to your colleagues and workplace during the day, the lively island provides ample opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation whenever you need a break from your desk. Curaçao is renowned for its multicultural community, ensuring there is always a place for you. Whether you wish to connect with other remote workers or immerse yourself in the local culture by engaging with the local community, Curaçao has it all. Moreover, regardless of whether you speak Dutch, Spanish, English, or Papiamentu, you will always feel at home.
To facilitate the stay of high net worth investors who wish to reside in Curaçao for a period of more than 6 months per year, the Government of Curaçao has issued the Guidelines Investors Permit 2014. The Guidelines state the conditions of the permit and help to find out whether this may apply to you.
The goal of the Guidelines Investors Permit is to facilitate the investment in Curaçao (among others, purchase of real property or making a business investment) by high net worth foreigners, thus contributing to our economy.
- To qualify for the temporary permit as “high net worth investor” you must meet the following requirements:
- Present official documents that you have made or intend to make a business investment of at least ANG 500.000.
- Having sufficient financial resources at your disposal to meet the obligations arising from the investment.
- A private health insurance policy.
- The first permit will be issued for a period of one or more years, depending on the amount of the investment. Subsequent permits will be issued for similar periods as long as the requirements for the residence permit are met.
- With an investment of at least ANG 500.000 (US$ 281,000), you may qualify for a residence permit for a period of 3 years which will be renewed if the circumstances remain unchanged.
- With an investment of at least ANG 750.000 (US$ 420,000), you may qualify for a residence permit for a period of 5 years which will be renewed if the circumstances remain unchanged.
Permit for an indefinite period
- With an investment of at least ANG 1.500.000 (US$ 838,000), you may qualify for a residence permit for an indefinite period.
*The Investors permit is currently undergoing revision, and soon you will be able to qualify for it with a reduced amount.
CINEX, the authorized Investment and Export Promotion Agency for the government of Curaçao, focuses on attracting foreign investments and promoting the export of local products and services. Since its establishment in 2014, CINEX has been dedicated to fostering economic growth and development on the island. Its approach integrates investment promotion and export promotion under one umbrella, allowing for a coordinated strategy to drive economic progress.
Investment promotion involves providing comprehensive information and assistance to investors throughout the investment process while promoting the country's investment opportunities, incentives, and positive image. CINEX aims to attract investment by facilitating and guiding investors in establishing their businesses in the country. We promote the country as an appealing investment destination, target investors based on identified needs, and advocate for policy reforms to facilitate investment on a broader scale.
Export promotion, on the other hand, supports and promotes exports from local companies. CINEX assists domestic businesses in expanding globally by helping them identify new markets, providing market intelligence and research, and offering support with export documentation and logistics. They also encourage participation in international trade fairs and exhibitions to showcase products and services to a global audience.
CINEX works closely with the Ministry of Economic Development, the Curaçao Chamber of Commerce & Industry, CURINDE, and other governmental entities to implement government policies on international trade and investment. CINEX also participates in regional investment promotion through their membership in the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agency – CAIPA. This collaboration ensures streamlined efforts and the fulfillment of our mandate.
Finally, CINEX emphasizes the importance of promoting sustainable development. We are committed to encouraging socially responsible and environmentally sustainable investments, ensuring that economic benefits derived from foreign investment align with these principles.
Cinex’s mandate has remained unchanged over the years; rather, it has grown stronger and more firmly established as the organization has evolved.