Curacao: Economy#

Tourism, petroleum refining, offshore finance, and trade and transport are the mainstays of this small economy, which is closely tied to the outside world. Although GDP grew slightly during the past decade, the island enjoys a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared with other countries in the region. Curacao has an excellent natural harbor that can accommodate large oil tankers. Venezuelan state oil company PdVSA, under a contract in effect until 2019, leases the single refinery on the island from the government, employing some 1,500 people; most of the oil for the refinery is imported from Venezuela; most of the refined products are exported to the US. Almost all consumer and capital goods are imported, with the US, Brazil, Italy, and Mexico being the major suppliers. The government is attempting to diversify its industry and trade and has signed an Association Agreement with the EU to expand business there. Most of Curacao’s GDP results from services. Curacao has limited natural resources, poor soils, and inadequate water supplies, and budgetary problems complicate reform of the health and education systems. In 2013 the government implemented changes to the sales tax and reformed the public pension and health care systems, including increasing the sales tax from 5% to as high as 9% on some products, raising the age for public pension withdrawals to 65, and requiring citizens to pay higher premiums.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$3.128 billion (2012 est.)
$3.02 billion (2011 est.)
$2.96 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP - real growth rate3.6% (2012 est.)
2% (2011 est.)
0.1% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$15,000 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 0.7%
industry: 15.5%
services: 83.8% (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 1.2%
industry: 16.9%
services: 81.8% (2008 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum products
Agriculture - productsaloe, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, tropical fruit
Imports - commoditiescrude petroleum, food, manufactures
Exchange ratesNetherlands Antillean guilders (ANG) per US dollar -
1.79 (2011)
1.79 (2011 est.)
1.79 (2010 est.)
1.79 (2009)
1.79 (2008)
note: the Netherland Antillean guilder was replaced by the newly created Caribbean guilder in 2013
Exports$1.607 billion (2011 est.)
$1.44 billion (2010 est.)
Imports$1.285 billion (2011 est.)
$1.275 billion (2010 est.)
Industrial production growth rateNA%
Industriestourism, petroleum refining, petroleum transshipment, light manufacturing
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.2% (2012 est.)
2.3% (2011 est.)
Labor force73,010 (2013)
Unemployment rate13% (2013 est.)
9.8% (2011 est.)
Public debt33.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
40.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$5.6 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues16.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-0.4% of GDP (2012 est.)