During the first National Export Awareness Week (NEAW) the governments of Curaçao and the Netherlands launched the international trade and export promotion instruments of the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) for Curaçao. The launching of these so called RVO instruments was officially done by the Minister of Economic Development, Dr. Steven Martina, followed by presentations of the RVO team Mrs. Eva Dekker- Witteman, Mr. Ronald Vermeeren, Mr. Maikel Walker and Mr. Ard Kwint. Some 70 participants engaged in the question and answer sessions.


To further promote international trade and export and strengthen the “one Kingdom’s-four countries” – foreign economic relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in close cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development of Curaçao, has made some instruments accessible to entrepreneurs in Curaçao, Aruba, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, Saba and Bonaire (BES). Starting January 1, 2018 these companies can also make use of these incentives.


The RVO instruments

The services, subsidies and other programs are available for trade and investment related activities and projects towards countries outside the Dutch Kingdom. The entrepreneurs registered at their respective Chambers on one of the six islands, may use these services and programs under the same conditions as European Dutch companies and in cooperation with local partners.


Each of the instruments has eligibility criteria and each business case is approached, analyzed and evaluated based on its specific circumstances. Overall the instruments are geared toward finding right contacts and networks and building bridges between language and cultures.


They serve to help introduce a local entrepreneur to a new contact and allows the entrepreneur to take part in trade missions, fairs and partnership-activities.


The instruments are accessible for the business community (SME’s, multinationals, trade associations), knowledge institutions (Universities) and NGO’s who are looking for:

•  Access to a new market for your product or service: Opportunities, tenders and trends among local parties and governments;

•  Help with product development in another country: Information about countries, sectors and themes, advice on market sectors,      legislation and regulations;

•  Funding for demonstration and feasibility in another country: Exploring and starting in new foreign markets, insurance,                      guarantees and financing for export and to invest in a foreign country.


Main instruments

On individual basis

1. Client advise and information (KAI – by the Ministry of Economic Development and RVO-team)

2. Starters International Business (SIB)

3. Country information on request (LIOM)

4. Business partner scan (ZPS)

5. Demonstration projects, feasibility studies and Investment preparation (DHI) On collective basis


6. Business Development coaches – connecting the identified opportunities to the private sector

7. Partners International Business (PIB)

8. Economic missions/Kingdom missions

9. Strategic fairs


1. The client advise and information service (KAI) within the ministry of economic development of Curaçao is the first window for          local entrepreneurs to start their business case. Advice and information is provided based on individual request. The client is            often referred to the website: www.rvo.nl for general knowledge.


2. The Starters International Business (SIB) program gives entrepreneurs focused advice to help them take the step towards                  foreign markets, providing vouchers for individual coaching, trade missions, joint trade-fair presentations and hiring legal and          tax advice in the field of export to a foreign country.


A coaching voucher by a private consultant can be requested for SMEs with no or limited experience in exports. The company should have exports of ≤ 25% of sales or a maximum of three years registered in the Trade Registry of the local Chamber of Commerce. At the end of the coaching process, an action plan is delivered and the entrepreneur knows what market to aim at and what internal actions to take.


3. The country information on request (LIOM) is a tool that provides the exporter in depth insights in the country specific markets.        Up to three countries can be analyzed for a certain export market.


4. Business Partner scan (ZPS) can be requested if an entrepreneur needs to have more information on its partner(s) in a foreign            country.


5. The DHI scheme for demonstration projects, feasibility studies and investment preparation studies supports local enterprises in        Curaçao that want to invest in or execute a project in emerging markets and in developing countries.


6. Business development coaches are for collective activities of SME (export starters). Requirements are amongst others that the          export volume of the companies does not exceed 25% of sales. The company should be registered for a maximum period of            three years in Trade Registry of Curaçao’s Chamber of Commerce.


7. The Partners in Business program unlocks the trade barriers, improves access to the right contacts or vital knowledge, or                  provides insights on local regulations that get in the way. Doing business abroad in an unfamiliar market can be daunting.

    The requirements for this instrument are

    among others:

•  Up to five companies and/or knowledge institutes from one of the top sectors;

•  A convincing business case;

•  The proposition has a competitive advantage;

•  A 50/50 contribution is required.


8. Use of the RVO incentives to participate in trade

+ missions and collective trade fairs, is only possible

9. if these are organized by private, commercial

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