Back in ancient days, Maldives had a strong reputation for many commodities to include cowries, dried tuna, ambergns, coco de mer, and coir rope. Because of this, it was common for both ships coming to Maldives from local regions and foreign countries, loading up on the goods and then returning home with a full cargo. However, in more recent times, Maldives has experienced economic fluctuations and while fishing and shipping are still a part of Maldives exports, other industries to include tourism is also big business.
In fact, for Maldives trade, tourism is the primary industry, accounting for close to 30% of the country’s GDP. In addition, tourism currently accounts for approximately 60% of all foreign exchange receipts. In the 1990s alone, tourism in Maldives reached a whopping 115%. At that time, some 90% of tax revenue for the government was associated with duties for Maldives imports, as well as tax discounts connected to this industry.
After tourism, fish is still an important industry for Maldives. Thanks to the 1989 reform, quotas for Maldives imports were lifted, which meant the private sector could now benefit from some of the Maldives exports available. This reform also helped create more flexible regulations whereby foreign investment could participate more in the overall Maldives trade market.
After fishing, two other industries play a very important role when it comes to the economy of Maldives, as well as Maldives Trade, Maldives Exports, Maldives Imports. These include agriculture and manufacturing but with limited availability due to shortage of good land for growing crops and enough domestic labor, the country of Maldives has needed to depend on many of the staple foods consumed to be imported.
Then for the industry part of the Maldives economy, this consists mostly of the production of garments although handicrafts and boat building are also included. In fact, industry for Maldives holds some 18% of the GDP. Even so, government officials have concerns specific to global warming and how it would affect this Maldives trade. Remember, while Maldives has 1,900 islands, just 198 have population, and with this, people are scattered all over the country.
In trying to pull the people of Maldives together, serious effort has gone into developing a strong infrastructure, which depends heavily on tourism, as well as a number of complementary sectors to include real estate, construction, transport, government, and distribution. Thanks to taxes specific to tourism, the country of Maldives has been able to improve both the technological and agricultural sectors.
For Maldives trade deficit, this currently runs anywhere from $200 to $260 million. We also wanted to mention that because of the devastating tsunami of 2005, Maldives experienced horrific loss but with sheer determination and good leadership, the following year the GDP has rounded to some degree. Today, tourism, agriculture, and industry have sustained the country but international shipping operated by the private sector has also helped. For this, just a small amount of tonnage brought in and out on the vessels is from Maldives Shipping Management Ltd, a national carrier.
The most recent reports about Maldives trade shows that for Maldives exports, both fish and clothing are the top two commodities with an estimation of $123 million. The current partners for Maldives exports include the United States, the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Japan, Thailand, and Algeria. For Maldives imports, this involves a variety of commodities such as ships, foods, petroleum products, clothing, textiles, capital goods, and intermediate goods. The estimated value of more than $550 million involves Singapore, Japan, Sri Lanka, India, and Canada.