Invest Maldives, the government agency entrusted with promoting, regulating and licensing foreign investments in the country, is the first port of call for all foreigners keen to invest in the Maldives. The process of registering a foreign investment, as required by Law, is simple and straight forward. Prospective investors can expect to get their operations under way within 10 days from the date that all the required documentation are submitted to Invest Maldives. Invest Maldives also plays an active role in supporting investors in their establishment and operations.
In short, Invest Maldives provides assistance at every stage of the investment process and will pave the way for speedy commercial operations. The following are the main functions and services that are provided by Invest Maldives:
- Marketing and promotion of the Maldives as an investment destination
- Providing information on the Maldives and potential areas of investment to prospective investors.
- Providing information and guidance on the application process to foreign investors.
- Issuing licenses for foreign investors to conduct business operations in the Maldives.
Foreign Direct Investments
Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) has always played a crucial role in the economic development of the Maldives. The Government acknowledges the importance of foreign investment and recognizes its contribution to economic development and employment creation. The Law on Foreign Investments in the Republic of Maldives (Law 25/79) governs foreign investments in the country. Foreign investments in the tourism sector are registered with the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation while all non tourism foreign investments are registered with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.
The success of foreign investments in the Maldives can be attributed to its open and liberal economic environment, relative political stability and the consistent growth of the economy, which has achieved an average annual growth rate of 7.5 percent over the last 15 years. Foreign investors are offered a simple and transparent policy environment and continuous efforts are being made to make the investing environment more predictable and transparent. Capitalizing on the numerous benefits of investing in the Maldives, many reputed international brand names have established their presence in the country. Amongst them are world class resort investments by international hotel chains such as Hilton, Four Seasons, One & Only, Club Med and numerous other regional brands. Other foreign investments in the Maldives are concentrated in the transport and telecoms sectors, water production and distribution, and in the financial sector. Many global brand names, such as HongKong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), Ernst and Young (E&Y), Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), KPMG and many reputed insurance providers have strongly established themselves in the Maldives. Foreign investments, irrespective of their size, are encouraged to enter and operate in the Maldives.
Literally, all sector’s of the Maldives economy is open for foreign investors. However, small investors are encouraged to form joint-ventures (JVs) with Maldivian nationals or companies registered in the Maldives.