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 continues to recognize its importance for economic development and employment creation.
The Maldives enjoys a stable and transparent legal system, relative political stability and a rate of growth that has averaged 7.5 percent over the past 15 years. The Maldives’ liberal trade environment, dynamic private sector, and development-oriented legal structure all contribute to a climate conducive to trade and investment. Foreign investors are offered a simple policy environment in which foreign investment law guarantees the security of foreign and domestic investments. Efforts are continually being made to make the investment environment more predictable and transparent.
The vast untapped potential in natural marine resources and the young, energetic and dynamic workforce are additional inducements to invest in the Maldives.
Capitalizing on the numerous benefits of investing in the Maldives, many reputed international brand names have established their investments 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 Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), Ernst and Young (E&Y), Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), KPMG and many reputed insurance providers have established themselves in the Maldives.
Investing in the Maldives
The Maldives continues to aim to attract foreign investment, particularly investments which are capital intensive, enhance the transfer of technology, introduce new skills, while remaining environmentally friendly.
Foreign investors, irrespective of their size, are encouraged to enter and operate in the Maldives. Small investors are encouraged to form joint ventures with Maldivian nationals or companies registered in the Maldives, while investors making investments in excess of $5 million (US) face no ownership restrictions and are free to operate as wholly-owned foreign investments if desired.
- Right to 100% foreign ownership.
- Legally backed investment guarantee.
- Provision for overseas arbitration of disputes
- Long term contractual agreements and long term lease of land
- Freedom to use foreign managerial, technical and unskilled workers.
- No foreign exchange restrictions.
- No restrictions on the repatriations of earnings or profits.
- Law on Foreign Invesments in the Republic of Maldives (Law: 25/79)
- Companies Act of the Republic of Maldives (Law: 10/96) Unofficial Translation
- Regulations Governing Duty Free Businesses in Maldives
- Regulations for Issuing Licenses to Fish in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Maldives
Entry Permits and Visa Requirements
Those intending to invest in the Maldives may visit the Maldives on a free 30-day tourist visa and carry out any work or research relating to making an investment in the Maldives. Once an investment is approved by the Government, all foreign employees recruited for the operations should follow the normal process of obtaining a work permit.
Further information on entry requirements, other types of visas, and tourist visa extensions is available on the website of the Maldives Department of Immigration and Emigration.