The economy of St. Maarten is based almost entirely on tourism. It is estimated that 85% of all employment is related directly and indirectly to tourism. St. Maarten has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the Caribbean. In addition to tourism, the other major forms of economic activity are financial services and trade with the neighbouring islands. St. Maarten produces very few consumable goods. The government is looking into ways of diversifying the economy, particularly with industry that would support the main economic activity and would not hurt the tourism product. One of the ideas is creating zoning plans like the so called economic zone or e-zone. Economic zones refer to special areas where normal trade barriers such as import or export tariffs do not apply.
Other than exchange control and currency regulations, there are no specific restrictions or authorizations required for foreign investment. However, authorization may be required in certain regulated areas, such as banking and financial services.