Small amounts of cereals, vegetables and fruit are grown on the
small fertile land available on the islands. The fishing industry
is much more important: tuna fishing makes up half of the Maldives’
The industrial sector has significantly grown since 1980
due to huge infrastructure investment in desalination plants, renovated
accommodation, air conditioning and generators. Most of this had
been originally designed for use by the tourism industry,
which has also grown very quickly following the decline of shipping,
and presently accounts for almost one quarter of the GDP.
Otherwise, some light industrial activity like fish
canning, boat building and textiles still exists, as well as a small financial services
sector which has currently experienced scrutiny (along with dozens
of other small economies offering ‘offshore’ services).
Generally, the islands’ economic growth has been hindered
by their relative isolation and the small internal market. Hopes
that Maldives could produce oil were dashed when a ten-year exploration
programme failed to find deposits in the islands’ territorial
waters. The Maldives has membership in the Asian Development Bank
and the Colombo Plan.
Since the islands import just about everything, business potential
is high, but only on Male, (the capital). Most business is conducted
in the morning. It's a good idea to make appointments well in advance.
For business meetings, men usually wear a shirt and tie and a lightweight
or tropical suit while women wear a lightweight suit or the equivalent.
Shaking hands is the customary form of greeting.
hours: Sunday-Thursday 7.30 am - 2.30 pm. Friday and Saturday are
official days of rest.
The below organization can provide advice:
Organisation, STO Building, 7 Haveeree Higun, Male 20-02 (tel:
323-279; fax: 325-218; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more details, contact:
Kurumba Village, Universal Enterprises Ltd., 38 Orchid Magu,
(tel: 442 324; fax: 322-678 or 320-274)
Bandos Island Resort, North Male Atoll (tel: 440-088; fax: 443-877;
Paradise Island, Villa Hotels, STO Trade Centre, Male (tel: