Under the NFR, the distinction between 'onshore' and 'offshore' activities is largely abolished, although until 2006 there was a statutory exemption for the Aruba Exempt Corporation, which is not allowed to trade in Aruba and must be wholly owned by non-residents. The prohibition on trading in Aruba does not mean that these entities cannot have their center of operations in the island or direct activities from there but it does mean that they can neither trade with locally based companies (except with other offshore entities) or individuals nor own real estate in Aruba.
The natural bonding of the Internet and Offshore stems from the fact that both, of their nature, manage to avoid tax. Businesses which can operate on the Internet without, so to speak, touching ground in a high-tax jurisdiction will naturally migrate to offshore jurisdictions; while business that already have offshore existence will find it highly convenient to be able to use the Internet to trade with their high-tax customers without having to make a landing in their countries.
As a major offshore jurisdiction with more than ten thousand of offshore enterprises already installed, including many trading companies, it is only a matter of time before Aruba becomes a centre of e-commerce activity. The island's geographical location, its good telecommunications links and sophisticated business infrastructure add to the inevitability of an e-future for Aruba.
In May 2008, Mio, a fast growing provider of broadband mobile communication services in the Caribbean Islands, announced that it would soon be launching mobile voice, broadband Internet access and WiMax services in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao.
Mio claimed that it would be the first in the Caribbean to offer affordable unlimited wireless broadband Internet access and voice plans.
High Speed Wireless Broadband will further enable new IP (Internet Protocol) services such as static IP addresses, VoIP (Voice over IP), hosted and managed services, video on demand, video conferencing, web hosting, and many other services to be offered. Additionally, it does not require a landline as ADSL does.
Marc Dinee, VP of Sales and Marketing at the Mio Group, stated at the time of the announcement that: "Mio is determined to meet the needs of the various segments in the Caribbean market and, in that vein, we will be unveiling a number of other new products and services targeting these segments over the next several months. We are very excited to introduce our offerings of mobile voice, data, and broadband services to consumers and businesses in these islands. Our services provide our customers with always-on connectivity and high quality reliable services."
Mio now provides three wireless broadband packages starting at Afl69 for 4Gb per month.
For information about the impact of e-commerce on a number of the main offshore activities which take place in the Aruba, click on a link below to go to our specialist E-commerce site Offshore-e-com.com
To see an analysis of the current state of legal and tax issues surrounding offshore e-commerce, click here.