Invest in Maldives
Economy at a glance
With an increasingly resilient economy, that’s been steadily averaging a growth 7 per cent annually over the past 20 years, the Maldives is committed to diversifying its portfolio for further economic growth by encouraging investments in targeted sectors.
That the country’s potential for becoming a proactive link between the East and the West in the Indian Ocean, is endorsed by its historical linkages with commercial sea routes from ancient times. The Maldives is well positioned to connect to the Indian Ocean maritime transport routes and capitalize afresh on the growing transshipment traffic. Its infrastructure is set to play a pivotal role in its diversification agenda. Chief amongst these is its marine transport system, which includes three commercial ports and an excellent maritime public transport network spread across the country. Additional the air transport network is supported by four international airports and six regional airports— providing direct and quick access to over 30 major international destinations, as well as its own islands. The Maldives has the world’s largest fleet of seaplanes, which offer unhindered connectivity to its luxury resorts.
Its advanced telecommunications sector and ICT grid have created a sophisticated and wide communication network — ensuring businesses in the Maldives that they can enjoy uninterrupted connectivity at all times.
With its endorsement of free enterprise it comes as no surprise that the Maldives’ economic vision is embedded with pro-market policies aimed at encouraging a liberal and transparent commercial environment. Investors can look forward to a supportive bureaucracy-free regulatory and legal framework to conduct business.
- Right to 100 percent foreign ownership of the investment
- Provision for overseas arbitration of disputes and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards
- Long leases of land up to 99 years
- Flexibility to use foreign managerial, technical and unskilled workers
- No foreign exchange restrictions
- No restrictions on the repatriation of earnings or profits
- Invest Maldives is a single-window entity handling all business requirements of investors
The Special Economic Zones framework provides special economic incentives and introduces a flexible regulatory environment for mega investments of strategic significance to the country. The framework also provides strong protection for developers as well as investors in special economic zones.
Incentives for developers and investors are either guaranteed by law, or open for negotiation during the process of granting the permit to the master developer.
The strategic areas considered for setting up a SEZ include:
- Export processing activities, ports/airports/international logistics etc,
- University/tertiary hospital and R&D facilities,
- ICT Parks and related facilities
- International financial services
- Oil and gas exploration
- Initiatives that introduce new technologies to the Maldives.
- Investments under SEZ are large-scale investments in excess of USD 15 million which matches with the strategic priorities of the government as listed in the SEZ law. This list is reviewed by the Prseident each year.
- The overall development and management of a designated SEZ is undertaken by the developer.
For the first decade of operation exemption from:
- Import duties for materials imported for development, management and operation of the zone
- Business Profit Tax (BPT)
- Goods and Sales Tax (GST)
- Additional tax relief and tax credits under specific regulations
Doing Business in Maldives
Investors can go about this is in the following manner—setting up a:
- Re-registration of a foreign branch
- Share acquisition in a local company