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St Maarten Economy


Tourism dominates the economy of St Maarten: 70% of all visitors to the Netherlands Antilles visit St Maarten, which results in around one million tourists annually. Further investment in tourist infrastructure is planned, including a new major port. Government service provides one of the few alternative sources of employment, while subsistence farming and fishing meet a fair proportion of the islands' domestic needs.

St Maarten is the only island in the Antilles group, apart from Curaçao, which has achieved some success in developing an 'offshore' financial services industry. The Netherlands Antilles group enjoys Overseas Territory status at the EU and observer status at the Caribbean trading bloc CARICOM.


Economy - overview : The economy of St Maarten centres around tourism with nearly four-fifths of the labour force engaged in this sector. Over one million visitors come to the island each year - 1.3 million in 2008 - with most arriving through the Princess Juliana International Airport. Cruise ships and yachts also call on Sint Maarten's numerous ports and harbours. No significant agriculture and limited local fishing means that almost all food must be imported. Energy resources and manufactured goods are also imported. Sint Maarten had the highest per capita income among the five islands that formerly comprised the Netherlands Antilles.
GDP (purchasing power parity) : $794.7 million (2008 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate) : $794.7 million (2008)
GDP - real growth rate : 1.6% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP) : $15,400 (2008 est.)
GDP - composition by sector : agriculture: 0.4%
industry: 18.3%
services: 81.3% (2008 est.)
Labour force : 23,200 (2008 est.)
Labour force - by occupation : agriculture: 1.1%
industry: 15.2%
services: 83.7% (2008 est.)
Unemployment rate : 10.6% (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) : 0.7% (2009 est.)
Agriculture - products : sugar
Industries : tourism, light industry, and manufacturing
Electricity - production : 304.3 million kWh (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities : sugar
Exchange rates : Netherlands Antillean guilders (ANG) per US dollar - 1.79 (2010); 1.79 (2009); 1.79 (2008); 1.79 (2007); 1.79 (2006)




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