National Program for Formal Business Participation

December 8, 2023

Aruba is taking a proactive approach to enhance its business environment and attract prospective investors. On December 7th, Minister Geoffrey Wever officially introduced the National Program to Combat the Informal Economy—a pivotal initiative designed to create a level playing field for businesses and promote a transparent and compliant economic landscape. The National Program, covering the period 2024-2027, outlines specific actions to foster formal participation.

In 2021, a study conducted by the Department of Economic Affairs, Commerce, and Industry, in collaboration with Prof. Schneider, concluded that the value of economic activities in the informal sector constitutes 20% of the gross domestic product. The informal economy includes economic activities that simply do not comply with existing laws, such as not being registered with the Chamber of Commerce, lacking the necessary business permits, and not being recorded with the Tax Department. This means that those active in the informal sector do not incur the costs associated with compliance with laws, creating an unfair competitive situation for businesses that do follow the proper procedures.

Aruba’s commitment to minimize the informal economy aligns with its broader vision to offer a secure and attractive investment destination. The National Program, developed in collaboration with key stakeholders, provides a comprehensive framework for addressing informal economic activities, ensuring that businesses entering the market can thrive in a fair and competitive environment.

“Aruba’s economic development depends significantly on our entrepreneurs who invest, create jobs, and comply with our laws. It is important to ensure that the starting point is equal for all traders, according to Minister Geoffrey Wever. This commitment ensures that prospective investors can establish themselves in Aruba with confidence, knowing that the government is actively working to eliminate barriers to entry and unfair competition.”

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