New markets for free zone Curaçao
WILLEMSTAD - The company that manages the real estate in both free zones, Curinde, indicated that is has been ‘very active’ in recent years to tap into new markets. They are also looking for ways to market their products to their clients through more modern channels.
That is necessary anyway because of global changes in logistics, technology and buying behavior, but certainly after the big fire in the free zone on the Koningsplein in 2015 and the disappearance of the Venezuelan market.
In 2016 'for various reasons' 22 companies left both areas, but at the same time '21 new companies have established themselves' and 20 existing companies have leased more space, according to Curinde. Employment fell from 784 employees in 2016 to 626 in 2017, but sales grew from 915 million guilders in 2015 to 1.17 billion in 2017.
During the last three years, Curinde has been investing in security within the zones and tackling the transit of 'non-authentic' goods. For this purpose, local cooperation is being made with the Public Prosecution Service, but also with the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC). In this way 'slowly but surely' improves the reputation of the island, 'as a result of which brands no longer see Curaçao as a transit port for counterfeit goods'.
Curinde is actively looking in other markets such as the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago and Suriname. The company wants to attract buyers from these markets to compensate for the loss of Venezuelan customers.