The Ministry of Economic Affairs on Monday announced that it authorised foreign investments worth USD 200 million (MVR 2 billion) in the first three months of this year.
Speaking at a press conference, Registrar of Companies Mariyam Visam stated that authorised investments in the first quarter include investments in the tourism and construction sectors. She added that the largest investments were in tourism while the investments authorised for the construction industry are in connection with the ongoing mega development projects across the Maldives.
“There are around 10 companies involved. The biggest investments are still in the tourism sector. General investments include wholesale trading and there are companies registering in the construction trade in connection with various projects,” she said.
Visam assured that the government will protect local businesses despite foreign investments. Accordingly, foreign investments for projects less than USD 5 million may only be registered in partnership with a Maldivian firm that holds at least 35 percent stake in the partnership.
Noting that the state earned USD 790 million from foreign investments in the first quarter of this year, Visam explained that the revenue was generated from foreign investments that were authorised a couple of years ago.
“After authorisation, it usually takes about a year [for foreign investments to generate revenue]. Especially in the tourism industry, it takes about two years to develop and open a resort. Hence, these developments we see are the results of investments that were authorised before.”