Volume I. Issue 5    
Now is the time to invest in Curaçao. The Aqualectra-Marubeni economic development team is here to help facilitate your introduction to opportunities on the island. Contact our office in Atlanta, GA or go to www.investcuracao.com to see how we can help you get to know Curacao, identify opportunities, make contact with influential business and government leaders, and assist you as you navigate the investment process.

Bon Bini,

Mark Towery
Economic Development Team

Renaissance Hotel Opening.
The new Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino, located in historic Willemstad, scheduled a soft opening for December 15th and will be open to guests in January 2009. This contemporary 237-room resort, nestled in the historic setting of the Rif Fort, delivers authentic island charm and European sophistication. The Renaissance features a unique 32,000 sq ft private beach area and a 15,000 sq ft casino offering the latest slot machines and challenging table games with the upbeat energy of “Carnaval”. This fabulous resort is right in the middle of most exclusive shopping, dining, casino and nightlife available on the island, and 10 minutes from Hato International Airport. Book now!

Got Bait?
Sneak preview: Roland Martin Productions may be in Curacao during the 2009 Marlin Tournament to film episodes for Fishing with Roland Martin: a wildly popular fishing show on cable station Versus. Martin is an eminent fresh and saltwater sports fisherman with a great sense of humor and a lot of talent. His North American sponsors include Bass Pro Shops, Tracker Boats, Booyah, and Gary Yamamoto Baits.

Economic Summit 2008
Netherlands Antilles State Secretary of Finance Alex Rosaria hosted a summit on the local international financial services sector. Secretary Rosaria called the November summit in response to recent international financial market swings. Those attending included the International Bankers Association, Central Bank, Department of Fiscal Affairs, University of the Netherlands Antilles and representatives of funds, captives and trust.

Curacao’s sophisticated financial services sector works closely with local and EU authorities to ensure safety, redundancy, and stability. For two years running, the Global Custodian Hedge Fund Administration Survey found Curacao outscored all other mutual fund locations in hedge fund administration.
Philippe Cousteau Surveys Sustainable Opportunities in Curacao.
Environmentalist Philippe Cousteau visited Curacao in September 2008 as the guest of the Marubeni-Aqualectra Economic Development program (InvestCuracao) to review sustainable tourism opportunities in the Caribbean. Cousteau strongly emphasized to the audience of tourism professionals that Curacao is uniquely positioned to own the market positioning of an eco-friendly island. “No island owns the eco space as yet.

This is a real opportunity for Curacao,” Cousteau stated. Cousteau cited the fact that Curacao has not experienced the over-development of some Caribbean islands so much of the natural environment can still be preserved. He went on to note that the island has a spirit of public-private stakeholder cooperation, is a natural melting pot of ethnic and cultural diversity, and has a coveted UNESCO World Heritage designation. All of these factors, Cousteau noted, make Curacao a unique destination for environmentally responsible sustainable development.

Cousteau highlighted the importance of creating a clear mission statement and masterplan that differentiates Curacao from other destinations. He also urged the establishment of reasonable and responsible environmental standards, benchmark and incentives. “Curacao could be much more than a place for sun, sand, & chaise lounges. That is not unique. But Curacao can be a destination not only for diving, but for fitness, cycling, culture, wellness and regional music,” Cousteau said.

Cousteau ended his presentation with a call for concrete action including marine park protection, and strong regulations surrounding beach creation and building codes. He also pleaded for active pollution control and applauded the Island-wide initiative to ban plastic shopping bags in Curacao. The aim of the sustainable tourism movement is to reduce the impact of tourism on the environment and local communities while still providing eco-tourists world-class travel experiences.
      Aqualectra-Marubeni Host Environmental Stakeholder Roundtable
Aqualectra hosted a roundtable last month with environmental stakeholders in Curacao. Philippe Cousteau, visiting the island by invitation of Aqualectra and Marubeni Caribbean Power Holdings, Inc., participated and contributed insight and advice.

Acting President Director of Aqualectra, Anthon Casperson, highlighted the importance of transparency in the continuous process of planning of the resources of Aqualectra for the future. He delivered a thorough overview of Aqualectra’s profile and operations, including plans to repower the wind farms and complete a deep-water cooling program for waterfront hotels. Mr. Casperson elaborated further on Plan 2020 (the company’s strategic framework through 2020), basic principles of the company’s policy, and the vision and mission of Aqualectra.

Participants at the roundtable agreed the development of the community was best served when all stakeholders participate in the process of mapping a sustainable future.
        Hurricane Omar Visits Curacao
Curacao’s optimal location below the hurricane belt puts it out of reach of most named tropical storms but Hurricane Omar briefly visited Curacao in October. The storm had minimal impact. Curacao’s thriving dive industry will not be affected long-term. Reef formations covered by sand have already begun to recover and there was no permanent damage to the island’s reefs. Divers have witnessed an impressive coral spawning event and report that since the storm visited the island, even more fish populate Curacao’s coastline.

See the reef for yourself. Learn more about the 2009 Curacao Dive Festival under Events.
Vrolijk Kerstfeest! (“Merry Christmas”)
How does a tropical island celebrate Christmas? Great shopping, generous gift-giving, fabulous food and drink and merry-making. Come to Curacao this Christmas to enjoy Christmas Fruit Cake and Ayaka. Curacao Now makes Christmas travel fun and affordable.
For more information, visit: www.curacao.com/now.
      Blue Marlin Tournament April 3-6, 2009
The Curacao Yacht Club will host its annual International Blue Marlin Tournament again in April. The InvestCuracao team is planning to host a familiarization and fishing trip for up to four potential investors. To find out if you qualify.
Contact us at mt@geostrategypartners.com or 770-650-8495. You can also get details on the tournament at www.curacaoyachtclub.com
      Curacao Dive Festival
May 23-30, 2009. Curaçao has more than 60 identified dive spots surrounding its coastline with 57 coral species and more than 500 species of fish. Come and discover why Curaçao has been rated #1 for Healthiest Marine Environment in the Caribbean.
For more information, visit www.curacaodive.com
The Christmas Fruit Cake is a fruit cake with a difference. Fruits and nuts, ground and soaked in a wonderful blend of liqueurs, make this fruit cake really special. I have a wonderful collection of special fruit cake recipes, and this fruit cake is one of my favorites. It is delicious, and I know that you will love it. So grab your apron, fire up the oven, and get ready to bake!

1 1/2 lbs. mixed candied fruit
1 lb. glace red cherries
1 lb. raisins
1 lb. pitted prunes
1/2 lb. blanched almonds
2 cups Cherry Cordial liqueur
1/2 cup Amaretto liqueur
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
8 large eggs
1 Tbs. vanilla essence
1 Tbs. almond essence
2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground mace

All the fruits and nuts are ground as finely as possible in a food grinder. Place the fruit/nut mixture in a large bowl. Add cherry cordial, amaretto and corn syrup. Mix well, cover and set aside for at least 1 week. Baking day arrives! Grease and line the base and sides of one 12" to 12" square or round baking pan with brown paper and grease well with shortening.

Preheat the oven to 275°F (140°C). Cream together the butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and almond essence. Sift the flour with the salt and spices and fold them into the butter and sugar mixture. Stir in the fruit mixture a little at a time until it is evenly blended. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 2 hours until the cake is a rich brown color and feels firm to the touch. A cake tester inserted in the center should show no visible sign of raw batter though it may be sticky from the fruit.

Be sure not to over bake! Leave to cool completely in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack. When the cake is cold, wrap it well in two layers of brandy soaked cheesecloth. Wrap the moist cloth in plastic wrap then in silver foil or keep it in an airtight container, and store in a cool dry place. Periodically, brush more brandy or rum on the cheesecloth if it is dry.

Website: www.desireegourmet.com
Copyrights © 2004 recipes Desiree Da Costa Gomez
E-mail: desiree@caribseek.com
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