The infliction by hurricane Irma
On September 6, 2017, Sint Maarten, an autonomous country within the Kingdom of The Netherlands, was devastated by Hurricane Irma. 90% of buildings and infrastructure were damaged. The damages and losses related to Irma were estimated by the Government and the World Bank to amount to US$ 1.38 billion and US$ 1.35 billion respectively. As the most densely populated country in the Caribbean with a population of over 40,000 (Source: The World Bank), Sint Maarten will be, for the coming 5 years, rebuilding and recovering.
To support rapid and sustainable recovery, the Government of Netherlands funded a €470 million Euro Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fund on April 16, 2018, managed by the World Bank. The Trust Fund will finance activities for the recovery and reconstruction of Sint Maarten. Projects are selected and approved through the Government of Sint Maarten’s using the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) as a guideline. The Trust Fund’s focus is to cover the immediate and urgent needs of Sint Maarten’s people.
Where does the recovery stand?
Over the past year and a half since the passing of the Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, the reconstruction seen in Sint Maarten can mostly be attributed to the efforts of the private sector, which has truly put their best foot forward by collectively putting their private resources to work in order to rebuild the Country. Additionally, the most urgent recovery needs (such as initial debris removal, sheltering roofless populations, resumption of government and business services) was a massive undertaking by the Country government.
Doing business with Sint Maarten
Doing business with Sint Maarten as the hub of the Caribbean:
- Annually 1.668.863 cruise passengers and 602 cruise ships
- 1.840.202 passengers and 62,144 flights annually through the Princess Juliana International Airport SXM
- Daily international and regional connecting flights
- Access to the Eastern Caribbean /regional market through optimal freight – and airlines connectivity
- Sint Maarten has a no import-export duty regime, only turnover tax of 5% and income tax 12,5-47,5%
- Establishments of companies are based on the Dutch legislation and easy to set-up through any registered notary who offer one-stop window service (3 weeks)
- Establishing a limited liability (N.V.) automatically provides foreign Managing Directors a residence permit
- Sint Maarten promotes trade and investment accommodating foreign investors (incl. SMEs) with tax and other incentives after validating the benefits for the local economy