Curaçao Country Report
Curaçao is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The oil industry, which emerged in the early 20th century to help service newly discovered Venezuelan oilfields, remains an economic mainstay alongside offshore finance, the free zone, and the tourism industry. Money-laundering organisations are well established on the island, but do not pose a threat to investors. The overall crime threat is considered low, despite a small number of murders, which tend to involve members of drug gangs rather than bystanders, visitors, or businesspeople. There is a low risk of large-scale or violent protests.
There are no major obstacles to foreign investment and the government is keen to attract business from overseas. Public agencies are relatively efficient and levels of corruption are low by regional standards. Curaçao remains part of the Dutch kingdom, allowing investors to benefit from associate membership of the EU under the overseas countries and territories (OCT) agreements. Another advantage is that the island receives funding from the European Development Fund (EDF). Money-laundering activities persist on the island, although not on a scale that affects legitimate foreign investors.
There is no history of terrorism in Curaçao and the current risk is considered low. A very low risk exists from the activities of international terrorist groups that may indiscriminately target Western interests. However, there is no known home-grown threat and no indications that it constitutes a target for terrorist groups.
Overall, there are no significant external threats to the island. Between 2006 and 2010, however, diplomatic relations with Venezuela deteriorated when then-president Hugo Chávez called for the Caribbean to be decolonised and suggested that Curaçao (as well as Aruba and Bonaire) could potentially be used as a base for a planned military intervention to overthrow his government. Relations after 2010 improved based on trade until Venezuela closed the countries' mutual aerial and maritime border in January 2018, arguing that scarce basic goods were being extracted and sold in Curaçao, a claim denied by the latter.
There is a low risk of large-scale or violent protests. Some unrest is likely around general elections. Environmental activism continues to grow, but does not pose any significant threat to businesses operating in Curaçao.