Economic sectors


The economy of St. Eustatius is primarily based on the government, oil-transhipment, tourism, commerce, harbour activities and the medical school.

In a distinction between export based and non export based activities, the source for prosperity is mainly based on export based activities, generating income from outside which then is available for supporting non export based activities on the island. Presently, Statia’s island economy depends on a limited number of exports based activities of which Nustar Terminals and its suppliers are the most prominent. To a lesser extent, tourism and the school of medicine contribute to the island’s income as export based activities, just as the activities in agriculture and fishing. These primary activities enable employment in suppliers and service companies, such as the energy and communication sectors, construction and services. By far the most important employer on the island is the government which is largely finance from taxation and levies.

Nustar Terminals

The main private employer of the island is Nustar Terminals. The company became operational in 1982, and offers direct employment to 140 islanders. Because there are also many other companies providing goods and services to Nustar Terminals, the economic importance of this company is much greater for the island.

School of medicine

The University of Sint Eustatius School of Medicine opened the doors to its first class of students on September 1, 1999.

It generates income for the island. Students come from abroad and contribute to the prosperity of the island by spending on housing, personal care etc. The School of Medicine currently has around 120 students but has the ambition to grow to around 500 students.

It is an ECFMG-accredited medical school leading to an M.D. degree for people interested in practicing medicine in the U.S.The University of Sint Eustatius School of Medicine is dedicated to providing a quality medical education towards the Doctor of Medicine degree. Paralleling the United States’ model with a commitment to fundamentals, the University seeks to develop our students in other meaningfully and differentiated ways.


The economy of Saba is primarily based on the government, tourism and the Saba University School of Medicine.

Saba University School of Medicine

Saba University School of Medicine was founded in 1986 by leading educators who had a vision for a new kind of medical school – one that would focus on teaching, small class sizes and close student-teacher interaction. The first class got accepted in 1993. Since then, more than 1,300 physicians have earned their M.D. at Saba University.

The initial impetus for having a new medical school was a concern over the severe shortage of physicians--a concern that remains today. A recent study by the American Medical Association predicts a shortfall in excess of 200,000 physicians in the United States by the year 2020. Canada also predicts a shortage of physicians, especially in primary care.

Saba University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine (ACCM). The United States Department of Education has determined that the ACCM’s accreditation standards are comparable to those set by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), to accredit medical schools in the United States and Canada. Saba University School of Medicine students who successfully complete the requisite licensing examinations are eligible to practice medicine in Canada, Puerto Rico and all 50 U.S. states.

In Canada, where access to medical school is even more competitive than in the U.S., Saba has earned a very strong reputation. A significant number of the graduates have completed their residencies in Canadian training programs.

The core ideas that guided Saba University's founding are still in place and have enabled the school to earn a worldwide reputation as a leader in international medical education.