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Future and past
By 2025 Curacao achieves an economy of wealth creators that continuously creates and delivers high value; it is recognized as an important hub in the global value chains; it acts as a multifaceted ‘Portal’ facilitating international trade; and as a result, Curacao will be able to sustain a high quality of life and collective well-being for its citizens.
That is Curacao’s economic vision for a long-term economic development strategy. This vision incorporates Curacao’s natural advantages, such as:
From the time the Spaniards discovered Curacao in 1499, the island has been used as a commercial base for North and South America and Europe. Being part of the Dutch Kingdom, Curacao has unique access to the European markets through multiple preferential regulations.
And now, in the year 2010, Curacao is on the threshold of important constitutional reforms that will greatly impact our presentation to, and participation in, the region and the globe.
The major pillars of the Curacao economy are tourism, logistics (transport sector), e-commerce, international financial services, and oil processing. GDP per capita is USD$ 20,046,-.
Towards a new political constellation
In the island’s new political constellation, effective since October 10, 2010, the island has become one of the four countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, next to the Netherlands, Sint Maarten and Aruba. Of the former Netherlands Antilles, the smaller islands (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba), have stronger ties with the Netherlands, have become special territories.
The total population as of January 2009 is 141,766.
Age structure of the population, 2009
0 – 14
|15 – 29||13,584||12,409||25,993|
|30 – 44||16,614||13,251||29,865|
|45 – 59||17,636||13,635||31,271|
|60 – 74||9,902||7,593||17,495|
Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, 2009
The average temperature is 28° C (76°F). Curacao does not get much rainfall, and is characterized by low, hilly terrain and high humidity (84%) due to the constant northeasterly breeze. Moreover, the island lies well outside of the hurricane zone.
The local language is Papiamentu, with roots in Spanish and Portuguese with Dutch, English and African influences. Besides Papiamentu, the official languages are Dutch and English. Spanish is also spoken by most of the locals.
The currency unit is the Netherlands Antilles guilder, whose international symbol is ANG. The guilder (ANG) has been pegged to the US dollar at the following exchange rate:
The exchange rate offered by shops and hotels ranges from ANG 1.75 to ANG 1.80. Major credit cards, US dollars, and Euros are widely accepted.
The Curaçao time zone is four hours behind Greenwich (summer) Mean Time (GMT); in other words, Curaçao falls within the Atlantic Standard Time zone, and equals E.S.T. + 1.
The electrical current in Curacao is 110 – 130 volts AC, 50 cycles. The tap water is distilled seawater and perfectly safe for drinking.
Canadian and US citizens need either a valid passport or proof of citizenship in the form of an original birth certificate accompanied by a photo ID, and an onward or return ticket. Most other nationals need only a passport. Visitors from, for example, Cuba, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Haiti require a visa. You will need to apply for a residence permit if you plan to stay for longer than three months. You are not allowed to work or live in Curacao without a work or residence permit.