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Aruba: Country and Foreign Investment


Aruba has been a Dutch possession since 1642. Together with the Dutch Antilles from which Aruba separated in 1986 it is legally part of metropolitan Holland and as such is a European Union territory for which the Netherlands has responsibility.

In 1990 Aruba of its own volition surrendered in perpetuity its treaty right to become independent of Holland by the year 1996. The Island is politically and economically stable and there is no movement agitating for independence. The Queen of the Netherlands is the head of state and she is represented locally by a Governor General appointed for a 6 year term.

Whilst Holland retains responsibility for all matters relating to defense, judicial appointments, applications for citizenship and foreign affairs, Aruba retains full autonomy in all internal matters. A constitution has been in place since 1986 and the Island has its own democratically elected legislature of 21 members (the Staten) which sits in the capital Oranjestad. The executive consists of the Governor and a 7-member Council of Ministers chosen and headed by the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister and deputy prime minister are elected by the Staten for four-year terms; an election for the 21-seat Staten was last held on 30 October 2009 (next to be held in September 2013). Parties hold seats as follows: AVP 12; MEP 8; PDR 1. The head of government is Prime Minister Michiel Godfried Eman.

All laws are in Dutch and the highest court is the Dutch Supreme Court in Le Hague. However English common law has also influenced Aruban law. Aruba has its own university.



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