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Relations with the Dutch Caribbean

Fact Sheet for Aruba, (PDF Version *, 64 KB)

The Kingdom of the Netherlands, including its Caribbean component, underwent significant constitutional changes on October 10, 2010.

Curacao and St. Maarten became constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Along with Aruba, these countries are now in principle autonomous in their internal affairs. Kingdom Affairs continue to be administered centrally. These include foreign affairs; defence; Dutch nationality; shipping regulation; extradition; and the safeguard of fundamental human rights and freedoms, legal securities and good governance. Meanwhile, the islands of Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius are now special municipalities of the Netherlands.

These territories are a part of Canada's immediate Americas neighbourhood, generating a series of ties in the areas of security, prosperity and governance. Tourism provides an important economic and person-to-person linkage between Canada and the Caribbean members of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In terms of other economic ties, export statistics show that in 2010, Canada exported $27.6 million to Aruba and received $139,000 in imports. Statistics for the other islands are not available.

Canada has entered directly into treaty arrangements with the Caribbean portions of the Kingdom in areas within their internal competence.

For instance, Canada and Aruba signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement in October 2011, and similar agreements entered into force with the five other islands as successors to the Netherlands Antilles in January 2011. Agreements have also been reached pertaining to Aruba on mutual administrative assistance in customs matters (April 2009) and air transport (February 2005).

Our diplomatic relations are carried out via the Embassy of Canada in The Hague (Netherlands), and practical matters by the Embassy of Canada in Caracas (Venezuela) because of geographic proximity.

The constituent members of the Kingdom of the Netherlands are represented in Canada by the Netherlands Embassy in Ottawa and its extensive network of Consulates.

March 2013

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