United Nations Development Programme
Trinidad and Tobago
Discovered and claimed for Spain in 1499 ,Aruba was acquired by the Dutch in 1636. The island's economy has been dominated by three main industries- a 19th century gold rush was followed by prosperity brought on by opening in 1924 of oil refinery; the last decades of the 20th century saw a boom in the tourism industry. Tourism has continued to be the mainstay of the economy, with offshore banking and oil refining and storage remaining important. The rapid growth of the tourism sector over the last decade has resulted in a substantial expansion of other activities such as construction.
Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 to become a separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch Government is responsible for Defence and Foreign Affairs, while the island retained full autonomy in internal affairs. Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's request in 1990. Similar to the Netherlands Antilles, because of the strong support of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, there is no Standard Basic Agreement with the UNDP which is still available to provide development assistance when needed.
Aruba is 193 sq. KM. The climate is tropical marine with little seasonal temperature variation. The population is 70,441.
Chief of State: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands represented by Governor General Olindo Koolman
Head of Government: Prime Minister Nelson O. Oduber