On Thursday April 12, 2012, Minister Mike de Meza, Minister of Finance, Communication, Utilities and Energy paid a visit to Free Zone Aruba NV, one of the state owned companies residing under the portfolio of the minister. Earlier this year Minister de Meza introduced a new free zone policy entailing that services companies could attain an address outside of the free zone compound. This policy eliminates the location restriction of services companies and creates opportunities for use of real estate island wide. Owners of on shore companies, who also have a free zone services’ company, could combine these under one roof reducing overhead costs. They could for instance also showcase free zone products at the new location, while the actual movement of goods remains being carried out from within the free zone compound under normal customs supervision.
The minister was interested in the progress made of the implementation of his new policy and strategized at length with the free zone’s director Greg Peterson on further innovation of Aruba’s free zone product and the supporting role it could play in the governments’ intentions to develop Aruba as a part of the Kingdom of The Netherlands into a Green Gateway, a strategic connection point between Europe and Latin American.
Free Zone Aruba has demonstrated positive growth numbers for ten consecutive years, of which the last four in double digits. In 2011 the growth was 13%.
Picture – from left to right: Greg Peterson, director of Free Zone Aruba NV, Minister Mike de Meza and Richard Arends, chief of staff of Minister de Meza’s bureau.