| The fishing industry
is by far the most important and tuna fishing reaps half of the
Maldives’ export earnings. Small amounts of fruit, cereals,
and vegetables are cultivated on the scarce fertile land available
on the islands.
The industrial sector has significantly grown since 1980
due to large investment in infrastructure; desalination
plants, generators, air conditioning and refurbished accommodation.
At first most of this had been designed for use by the tourism industry,
which has also grown at a fast pace following the decline of shipping,
and presently accounts for almost one quarter of GDP.
Some light industrial activity such as 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 companies offering
Generally, the islands’ economic growth has been hindered
by their relative isolation and the small domestic market. Expectations
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, however, only on Male. Most business is conducted in the
morning. An informal attitude prevails. Appointments must be made
well in advance.
For business meetings, men usually wear a shirt and tie and a lightweight
or tropical suit while women normally wear a lightweight suit or equivalent.
Shaking hands is the conventional form of greeting.
7.30 am - 2.30 pm. Friday and Saturday are
official rest days.
The below listed organization can offer advice:
Trading Organisation, STO Building, 7 Haveeree Higun, Male 20-02
(tel: 323-279; fax: 325-218; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
For Additional information, contact:
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; e-mail: email@example.com)
Paradise Island, Villa Hotels, STO Trade Centre,
Male (tel: 440-011; fax: 440 022)