Curaçao’s strength lies in its location at the crossroads of important trade routes and proximity to attractive markets. Curaçao can provide a good complement (connection) to U.S. or European companies with operations in South America and the Caribbean Basin, as a regional warehousing/ distribution center, or for distribution through intermediaries. Under intermediary arrangements, Curaçao trading companies manage the product for the investor in the region. Companies either operate in the economic zone to service export markets or in the World Trade Center to promote their goods and services to the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world.
The Curaçao economic zone
Curaçao has several economic zones. Two of them, one at the harbor and one next to the airport, offer opportunities for sales, warehousing, distribution, assembly,
manufacturing as well as technical services. Land in the economic zone can be leased on a long term basis, and showrooms and storage area for warehouses can be obtained at competitive prices. Companies operating in an Economic Zone are exempt from customs duties and enjoy a reduced tax rate of 2% on profits earned from sales. Goods sold or services rendered to the domestic market from the economic zone, however, are subject to the normal profit tax rate of 27.5%. As of January 1, 2015 the normal profit tax rate is 25%. As from January 1, 2016 it will be further reduced to 22%. Other economic zones are established in office buildings with special facilities geared to internet access and telecommunication for E-commerce purposes.
The following forms of service are permitted:
Carrying out maintenance and repair work in the zone to the goods of businesses that operate abroad;
The execution of maintenance and repair work to machinery and other equipment located abroad with goods stored in the zone;
Other forms of services aimed at foreign clients, including the warehousing business, and new commercial enterprises and ancillary trades and other servicing activities new to the international marketplace that can be carried out using electronic communications and information technology tools, insofar as
these do not involve the financial services sector (such as investment companies, patents, and royalties etc.).
The World Trade Center Curaçao (WTC)
The 150,000 square foot complex offers businesses and institutions the possibility of further penetration into South America and the Caribbean region. Located a short ride from the airport, downtown Willemstad and the economic zone, the WTC includes a spacious exhibition hall, a very modern auditorium,
separate meeting rooms, a trade mart where approximately 80 companies can have their permanent showrooms, a representative office building where international companies can rent space for their executive offices, temporary business units, a trade information center and a spacious reception room. The room is equipped with all facilities appropriate to the status of a world trade center.
• Distribution center