The Netherlands Antilles, previously known as the Netherlands West Indies or Dutch Antilles/West Indies, consists of two groups of islands that form part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. The islands are Curaçao and Bonaire, which are just off the Venezuelan coast; and Sint Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten, which are located southeast of the Virgin Islands. These islands form an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The islands' economy depends mostly upon tourism, international financial services, international commerce, shipping, and petroleum.
The Netherlands Antilles are scheduled to be dissolved as a unified political entity on October 10, 2010, so that the five constituent islands will attain new constitutional statuses within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.