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World Travel Guide > Guides > Caribbean > Aruba

Aruba: Doing business and staying in touch

Doing Business in Aruba

Business dress and etiquette tend to reflect that of the USA. It is usual for men to wear ties to business meetings. Exchanging business cards is the norm. Meetings are usually held during office hours in the workplace.

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1700.

Economy

Between 1824 and 1916, the economy was based on gold mining. An oil refinery opened in the mid 1920s and was the most important commercial operation on the island until its closure in 1985. However, it was re-opened in 1991 and oil reassumed its central position in the Aruban economy. In the meantime, a sizeable tourism sector grew up. Aruba now receives 1.5 million tourists a year, 75% from the USA.

More recently, Aruba has been joined by offshore service industries, including finance and data processing. The country's free-port status, ship bunkering and repair facilities are the island's other main sources of revenue.

Light industry is limited to the production of some tobacco products, drinks and consumer goods. Agriculture is confined to small-scale activity, because of poor soil quality. Aruba is classed as an Associated Territory of the European Union.

GDP

US$2.2 billion (2008).

Main exports

Oil products, animals and animal products, art and collectibles, machinery and electrical equipment.

Main imports

Crude oil, food and manufactured goods.

Main trading partners

The Netherlands, The Netherlands Antilles and Venezuela.

Keeping in Touch in Aruba

Telephone

Payphones are located all over the island. International phone cards are available from petrol stations, mini markets and supermarkets.

Mobile Phone

Roaming agreements exist with a few mobile phone companies. Coverage is average.

Internet

Many hotels offer connections. Internet cafes are also available. Aruba has several Wi-Fi hotspots (www.wifi-aruba.com).

Media

Radio stations include Radio Kelkboom, Magic 96.5 and Canal 90; the oldest established newspaper (in Dutch) is Amigoe di Aruba; other papers include Aruba Today, Diario Aruba and Bon Dia; ATV and Tele Aruba are prime TV channels.

Post Office hours

Mon-Fri 0730-1200 and 1300-1630.