CARIBBEAN NETHERLANDS

   Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba   

Caribbean Netherlands is the name for three islands that are located in the Caribbean Sea. Since 10 October 2010 these three islands, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, are no longer part of the Netherlands Antilles but are officially local communities with a special status within the country of The Netherlands.

The three islands are quite different from each other and all have quite some special features compared to mainland European Netherlands. They differ not only in climate and culture, but also in administrative and legal provisions. However, being part of the Kingdom of The Netherlands means stability and a sound legal and financial framework. These are small modern communities where local culture and traditions are firmly embedded in the society.

For Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba this means having a favorable business climate and that entrepreneurs and businesses follow a clear licensing procedure in order to be established and registered. The Bonaire Chamber of Commerce is strongly being modernized in different areas, while a new Chamber of Commerce was set up for Saba/St. Eustatius. Entrepreneurs may go to the Chamber for advice, guidance and coaching through a starters’ plan of action that the Ministry of EZ has made possible in cooperation with the Chambers of Commerce.

The financial business instruments will be made available for applications from the Caribbean Netherlands, meaning that banks in the Caribbean Netherlands will be able to insure business loans (also micro loans) among others with the National Government in case of insufficient collateral.

The Ministry works with the governments and the tourist boards to assist Caribbean Netherlands with the marketing and promotion of the tourism potential. The Ministry of EZ supports the island governments and organizations in looking for ways to improve the services for the consumer in the postal, telecommunications, metrological and energy sectors. In addition, the Ministry encourages energy saving and the use of sustainable energy sources, such as wind and solar energy. Plans developed to this end in cooperation with the electricity companies on the islands are being implemented by way of concrete projects .

Both marine and terrestrial nature deserve the utmost care. Whether it is the ‘Washington Slagbaai National Park’ on Bonaire, the underwater atoll ‘The Saba bank’ near Saba or the National Park ‘The Quill’ on St. Eustatius. To protect marine life there is an integral nature conservation plan. Together with the Executive Councils, the conservation organizations, the National Forest Service in the Netherlands and the Ministries of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Ministry of EZ wants to actively and optimally provide this care for the islands. Furthermore, the Ministry of EZ wishes to encourage sustainable agriculture in the Caribbean Netherlands.