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Last updated : Nov 2009
Maldives Business
Maldives Business Overview - TravelPuppy.com
Maldives Economy

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’ export income.

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.

Office hours: Sunday-Thursday 7.30 am - 2.30 pm. Friday and Saturday are official days of rest.

Commercial Information

The below organization can provide advice:

State Trading Organisation, STO Building, 7 Haveeree Higun, Male 20-02 (tel: 323-279; fax: 325-218; email: sto@dhivehinet.net.mv).


For more details, contact:

Kurumba Village, Universal Enterprises Ltd., 38 Orchid Magu, Male
(tel: 442 324; fax: 322-678 or 320-274)

Bandos Island Resort
, North Male Atoll (tel: 440-088; fax: 443-877;
email: bandos@netlink.net.mv)

Paradise Island, Villa Hotels, STO Trade Centre, Male (tel: 440-011;
fax: 440-022)