The Netherlands Antilles comprise two groups of Caribbean islands: Curacao and
Bonaire in the southern Caribbean Sea are about 70 kilometres north of Venezuela near
Aruba and the rest of the country is about 800 kilometres to the northeast. Its total area
is 960 square kilometres.
185,790 (July, 1994 estimate)
Dutch (official), Papiamento, Spanish, English is widely spoken
The Netherlands Antilles is part of the Dutch realm. Full autonomy in internal affairs
was granted in 1954.
The legal system in the Netherlands Antilles is based on the Dutch civil law system,
with some English common law influence.
The Netherlands Antilles has generally adequate facilities, with extensive
inter-island microwave radio relay links. It also has two submarine cables and
two Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth stations.
Tourism, petroleum refining and offshore finance are the mainstays of the economy.
The islands enjoy a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure as
compared with other countries in the region. Unlike many Latin American countries,
the Netherlands Antilles has avoided large international debt. Almost all consumer and
capital goods are imported, with Venezuela and the United States being the major
The main industries in the Netherlands Antilles are tourism (Curacao and Sint
Maarten), financial services, petroleum refining (Curacao), petroleum transshipment
facilities (Curacao and Bonaire) and light manufacturing (Curacao).
1 Netherlands Antillean guilder, gulden, or florin (NAf.) = 100 cents
Netherlands Antillean guilders, gulden, or florins (NAf.) per US$1 - 1.79 (fixed
rate since 1989)
Curacao Home Page
Netherlands Antilles Home Page
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