Maldives economy is growing at a rapid pace with the booming tourism industry. With the restoration of political stability in the region, India and Maldives can magnify bilateral trade along with tourism.
Abdul Latheef President of SME & Entrepreneurship Federation of Maldives (SEFM) revealed the fact saying,” not just the tourists, Maldives offers an attractive market for Indian goods and services as Maldives’ economy is totally dependent on imports”.
Latheef who was heading a multi-sector delegation of SEFM, held detailed discussions with its counterpart in India- Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME) to enhance bilateral trade especially between SMEs.
The Indian delegation was led by Former FISME President and Hon. Counsellor of Rwanda (Bangalore) H.E. Mohan Suresh. The SEFM delegation constituted of SMEs from sectors such as Tours and Travels, Construction, IT and logistics among others.
The government of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is considered favourable to India and increasing the chances of having bilateral trade. In September 2019, the SEFM is holding an India specific Trade Fair- IndiaExpo to support Indian SMEs present their products and services to businesses of Maldives.
“Even an egg could be as expensive in the Maldives as US$ 6 a dozen. Indian MSMEs could export everything from items of daily use such as food products, medicines, handicrafts, garments or invest in the service sector like banking and finance and hotels” said the delegate.
Mohamed Abdul Sattar General Secretary of SEFM emphasised saying, “The beaches of Maldives are considered one of the finest in the world and are ready to welcome more Indians as Indian’s don’t require a visa to enter the Maldives. A large number of budget hotels and BnB type of accommodation have been added recently in the Maldives to cater to tourists of all categories”.
India’s exports to the Maldives surpasses US$ 200 million in 2017. On the other hand, Maldives exports to India is negligible.
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