is the administrative and financial center of the island and has an
array of financial, investment, banking, accounting and legal expertise.
There are many retail and international banks, insurance companies,
chartered accountants, legal firms and trust companies. Since 1987,
Aruba has experienced spectacular economic growth and since that time
the local currency (Florin) has been tied to the US dollar at a fixed
rate of 1.79 Aruban florins to the dollar. The nominal GDP in
1994, was estimated to reach the level of 2,250
million Sruban Florin (AFL). The GPD per head was US$21,800 at PPP by
2004 and the economy grew at an average of over 4%throughout most of the
1990ís. The real GDP growth was 2.5% in 2005.
This progress was fueled primarily by heavy investment in the tourism
industry, oil refining, development of the trade sector, effective
financial reforms and manufactured exports and off shore financial
After the introduction by the Government of "The Aruba Tax Exempted
Corporation" (Arubaanese Vrijestelde Vennootschap (AVV) in 1988, large
trust companies that had previously concentrated their operations in
Curacao, started operating offices in Aruba. This is an indication of
the increased acceptance of Aruba as an International Financial Center.
Since 1986, Aruba has had its own currency, the Aruban florin, equivalent to US $ 0.55. (For quick conversion, just divide the florin price in half and add 10%) The rate of exchange for the US dollar is awg 1.77 for cash and awg 1.78 for travelers check exchanges. All major credit cards
and travelers’ checks
are widely accepted.
Retail stores, hotels and restaurants usually use the rate of 1.80 while supermarkets and gas stations use 1.75. Personal checks are not accepted anywhere and some stores do not accept US $ 50 and $ 100 bills because of worldwide counterfeiting.