$2.400 billion (2007)
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Aruba is a 33-km long island located in the southern Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela. It is one of four constituent countries forming the Kingdom of the Netherlands, together with the Netherlands, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten.
The first inhabitants of Aruba are believed to be Caquetios of the Arwak tribe, who migrated there from Venezuela to escape attacks by the Caribs. Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda is considered the first European to arrive on the island, having landed in 1499. Once here, he established a small colony and deported the Caquetios to Hispaniola where they became slaves.
In 1636, the Kingdom of the Netherlands acquired the island and it remained under their control for nearly two-hundred years before the British Empire took over for a short period of time before handing Aruba back to the Dutch. It eventually became one of the six islands of the Netherlands Antilles, but seceded in 1986, becoming a separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
- Main article: Economy of Aruba
Aruba enjoys high standards of living including a low unemployment rate. About three quarters of the country's gross national product is earned through tourism and other related activities. Most tourists are from Venezuela or the eastern and southern United States. Before the status aparte, oil processing was a dominant industry, despite expansion of the tourism sector. Today, the influence of oil processing, agriculture, and manufacturing in Aruba is minimal.
Deficit spending has been a staple throughout Aruba's history, and modestly high inflation has been present as well. As of 2006, the government's debt had grown to 1.883 billion florins. The country received some development aid from the Dutch government each year through 2009, as part of a deal in which the Netherlands gradually reduced its financial help to the island each successive year. The exchange rate of the florin has remained relatively stable in recent years, at a rate of 1.79 florins equaling 1 United States dollar.
In 2006, Aruba's government changed several tax laws to reduce the deficit further. Direct taxes have been converted to indirect taxes, as proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). A 3% tax has been introduced on sales and services, while income taxes have been lowered and revenue taxes for business reduced by 20%. The government compensated workers with 3.1% for the effect that the B.B.O. would have on the inflation for 2007. Aruba's inflation in 2007 was 8.7%.
In 1634, after the island had become a Dutch territory, the Caribbean stuiver was introduced and was used until 1825. Afterward, the Dutch guilder and Netherlands Antillean guilder circulated alongside each other until 1940, when the latter broke its links with the Dutch guilder. When Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986, the country introduced its own currency, the florin.
|Stuiver, Gulden, Realen, Peso, Joe|
|100 Cents = 1 Guilder|
|ANG||Netherlands Antillean guilder||
|100 Cents = 1 Guilder|
|0.98 AWG = 1 ANG||100 Cents = 1 Florin|