Maldives Trade and Foreign Investment

By | July 24, 2022


  • Business Relationships
  • Foreign direct investment
  • FTAs ​​and Treaties
  • Development Cooperation
  • Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Business relations

Trade relations with the EU

The EU is the largest trading partner of the Maldives. The volume of trade exchange is not high. In 2021, it amounted to 22 million. EUR. The international trade balance is positive. The main export items were agricultural products and machinery. The Maldives has repeatedly called on the EU to negotiate a free trade agreement.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the EU (million EUR) 172.2 201 204.3 113.2 167.7
Imports into the EU (million EUR) 64.2 65 73.6 61.3 55
Balance with the EU (million EUR) -108 -136.1 -130.7 -51.9 -112.7

Source: European Commission

Trade relations with the Czech Republic

Data for the balance of international trade for 2021 is not available.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0 0.2 0.2 0.2 ON
Imports to the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0.1 0 0.1 0 ON
Balance with the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0.1 -0.2 -0.1 -0.2 ON


Trade relations with countries outside the EU

The largest export partners are Thailand, Sri Lanka, and the USA. The largest importers are the UAE, Singapore, China, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand, China, and the USA.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from countries outside the EU (million EUR) 98.4 87.5 102.3 129.6 115.1
Imports to countries outside the EU (million EUR) 1,942.2 2,451.9 2,381.3 1,501.0 2,036.3
Balance with non-EU countries (million EUR) -1,843.8 -2,364.4 -2,278.9 -1,371.4 -1,921.2

Source: EIU, Eurostat

Foreign direct investment

The government seeks to attract more foreign investment, especially in infrastructure, energy, the hotel industry, transport, telecommunications services, water production and distribution, and the financial sector. Foreign investors can apply for project implementation through the Planning Council or directly through the Ministry of Economic Development, see

The investment climate in the Maldives is one of the most accessible in Asia due to the simple tax system and the country’s openness to foreign investment, which is governed by Law No. 25/79 on Foreign Investment. The main fields suitable for investment are currently management and accounting, air transport, management of resorts and the manufacturing sector. The country attracts investors mainly for the following advantages:

  • 0% personal and corporate income tax,
  • the right to 100% foreign ownership, legally guaranteed investment securities,
  • reserves for international arbitration disputes,
  • long-term contractual guarantees and the possibility of long-term land leases,
  • freedom to employ foreign management, technical staff and workers,
  • no restrictions regarding foreign currency,
  • no restrictions on repatriation of profits and earnings

For complete, clear information on the possibilities of foreign investment in the country, the government website is used:

FTAs and treaties

Neither the Czech Republic nor the EU has yet concluded any agreement with the Maldives.

Developmental cooperation

Development cooperation from the EU

Over the past few decades, EU support to the Maldives has focused mainly on the areas of climate change, countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism, strengthening local governance, reforming the judiciary, fighting corruption, building civil society capacity and empowering women.

The Maldives also benefited from aid in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2009, the EU has supported climate change adaptation and mitigation in the Maldives.

A total of €10.5 million has been allocated to support the Government of the Maldives in developing and implementing its Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan. To continue and strengthen cooperation on climate change, the EU committed an additional €5 million in 2019 to support the government in implementing its nationally determined contributions. The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided the government with a €45 million loan to support renewable energy projects.

In 2020, the EUR 3 million Prevention of Marine Litter in Lakshadweep Seas (PROMISE) project was launched to promote source-to-sea solutions to reduce marine litter along the coasts of the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India.

Development cooperation from the Czech Republic

In the past, the Czech Republic did not provide any form of development cooperation to the Maldives.

Prospective fields of study (MOP)

The Maldives is not included in the ILO.


Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)

Maldives code for international calls +960

Area code Malá +960 331, 2, 3

Dhiraag Mobile Phone Operator Area Codes – 78, 76, 79

Watanya Telecom – 96, 97, 98, 99

Emergency calls:

Emergency service – 102

Firefighters – 118

Important web links and contacts – President – Ministry of Economic Development – government site on foreign investment – official website of the government – overview of SAARC tenders – Monetary Office of the Government, Central Bank – Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Maldives Stock Exchange

Maldives Trade