Unlike any other island in the region, St. Maarten enjoys a Duty Free status with no import or export taxes. This allows for the tariff free importation of raw materials for construction and manufacturing as well as tax free exportation of finished goods to be sold in foreign markets. These attributes make St. Maarten ideal for investment. Furthermore, as an overseas country of the Netherlands, St. Maarten receives more favorable trade relations with the European Union making exports to that market more viable.
Tax free goods in and out of St. Maarten are well managed and securely sent and received at the island’s two ports of entry, namely the Port of St. Maarten and SXM Airport. These two modern and well equipped ports of entry facilitate St. Maarten’s status as the transshipment hub of the Northeastern Caribbean. Through its active marine trade activities, St. Maarten has established itself to be a service point for some of the world’s largest shipping lines. Similarly, the country’s dedication to leading the Caribbean aviation industry has resulted in daily flights from major cities in North America, Europe and Latin America, creating linkages with nearby islands such as Saba, St. Eustatius, Anguilla and Nevis that all benefit from St. Maarten’s transshipment and hub function activities. The island’s proximity to the United States coupled with its mix of ‘A little European and a lot of Caribbean’ has stimulated large imports from North America with additional imports from Europe and Latin America.
Aside from their transshipment functions, the Port of St. Maarten and SXM Airport are also the island’s tourism gateways with over two million cruise passengers visiting the island via sea and over five hundred thousand persons entering via air. Geographically positioned to be a major tourist destination, St. Maarten attracts thousands of visitors from North America, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean region annually. With projected growth in the tourism, transportation, construction and wholesale and retail sectors, St. Maarten is the prime destination for investment opportunities. St. Maarten’s economy has continuously proven itself to be resilient to international economic downturns. The country’s real estate sector continues to hold its value making St. Maarten the ideal location for property development. Similarly, the country’s socioeconomic stability is unwavering despite its small size.