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New entrepreneurs prefer tourism and financial services

Tourists who visited Curaçao just a few months ago may notice several changes when they come back. There is a score of new restaurants and bars and new shops for souvenirs, clothing and food, as well as resorts. But business people are also in for a surprise. More companies offer business services or can provide them with the necessary products to build a new offi ce or hotel.

The Commercial Register, held at the Curaçao Chamber of Commerce and Industry, shows an interesting, but nevertheless predictable trend: experienced and new entrepreneurs chose mostly to register new companies in sectors that showed the best performance in the past eight months. On a total of more than 1900 new businesses 169 are construction or utility companies, 122 are in the range of hotels, restaurants and bars, 300 are food and non-food retailers and some 300 offer fi nancial services. The trade and hotel sector as well as the fi nancial services sectors remain key engines for the island economy with each nearly 5,500 companies registered. Still, the largest group of businesses registered is that of the international companies, due to the many incentives Curaçao offers them, such as tax advantages and other support.

Other sectors show some growth as well. Curaçao has nine new agriculture businesses, one fi shing company, 41 new manufacturing companies. Nearly 80 people are mortgage brokers, asset managers or something else in the banking sector.

There were very few companies that went bankrupt, but 2,173 companies requested to be removed from the register of the Chamber, mostly local companies. On balance, Curaçao had 30,467 registered businesses by the end of August compared to 30,833 on January 1st.

SECTOR NEW SINCE JANUARY TOTAL END OF AUGUST
Agriculture and fishing 11 128
Mining 0 0
Manufacturing and industry 50 767
Utilities 1 18
Construction and housing 169 1,608
Wholesale, retail, trade, hotels, restaurants, repair 497 5,431
Transport and communication 79 828
Financial and business services 489 5,508
Other services 213 2,169
International businesses 408 14,009
30,466