HIDDEN away in the West Indies is a tiny Dutch protectorate that could prove an ideal avenue for Hongkong manufacturers and traders to gain unrestricted access to both the United States and European markets. With this in mind, a trade and investment organisation has set up in Hongkong to try to lure Asian businessmen to the Caribbean. Curacao Inc (Hongkong,) named after the biggest island in the Lesser Antilles, is actively seeking Asian interest in the advantages the island has to offer. The five Dutch protectorates in the Lesser Antilles are autonomous with a population of 200,000, 70 kilometres off the Venezuelan coast in the southern Caribbean. Curacao, as part of The Netherlands, has been able to enter into an Association Arrangement with the European Community (EC). This means that products imported to Curacao from third countries, and then re-exported, without any further working or processing, can enter the European market free of all import duties. More significantly, quota and duty-free access to the EC is also enjoyed by all goods originating in Curacao. Also, many products which are assembled in Curacao will be classified as ''locally made'' and, therefore, qualify for free import into Europe. These new trade regulations greatly increase the range of goods that can be produced in Curacao using imported materials, and then exported duty and quota free. For Hongkong investors, this means that the labour-intensive stage of manufacturing can be carried out in Asia and the semi-finished items shipped to Curacao for assembly. The final product can then be packed on the island and officially labelled ''Made in Curacao''. It can then be shipped to European buyers, exempted from quota and import duty. The advantages of Curacao as a trading base are almost equally significant for entry to the US market. Under the US Government's Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), all goods from Curacao, other than textile, electronic and leather products, can be exported to the US free of any import duty or quota restrictions. For those three categories, there are no quotas, but import duty has to be paid. Curacao's infrastructure is well developed, and its natural harbour is the world's eighth largest. It possesses the largest commercial dry-dock in the Western Hemisphere. The island also boasts sophisticated and respected financial institutions, including a full range of offshore banking facilities. A business development scheme offers a comprehensive range of economic incentives to overseas investors such as cost-sharing financial support, training grants and extended tax holidays. In promoting what it calls ''Your Island of Business in the Caribbean'', Curacao Inc is focusing on these selling points. The company also stress its special economic and social links with Latin America.