MV_MALE – 04.06.2014 15:32:34
Maldives is hoping to set out the welcome mat to foreign investors by establishing a one-stop-shop to reduce the investment approval process to just ten days, an official said on Wednesday.
Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed told reporters his department was working on a one-stop-shop to reduce the current approval process from 21 days to just ten. Saeed is also aiming to present to parliament new legislation paving the way for special economic zones.
“The purpose of such a bill is to diversify the Maldivian economy so that new areas will develop for investment,” he was quoted as saying by local media.
The plans follow Maldives President Abdulla Yameen’s assurance at an international investor forum in April to revamp the country’ s investment laws to protect foreign ventures.
Over 200 companies from about 15 countries attended the forum to evaluate investment options in the Indian Ocean group of islands famous for its lucrative tourism industry.
President Yameen admitted the legal and regulatory environment governing foreign investment needs strengthening and redefining, and assured a Special Economic Zone Bill will be tabled in the parliament soon.
The Foreign Investment Act and Companies Act are also being revised to cater the needs of the modern foreign investors.
Many countries have expressed interest in investing in Maldives including Singapore, the United States, India, Germany and China.
Notable investors include American investment company Blackstone, Singapore-based HPL Hotels and Resorts, China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), the Carlson Group of Companies, Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts, United Bunkering and Trading Group, and Singapore Enterprise.
Investors will have the opportunity to submit proposals for five mega projects, including the development of Ihavandhippolhu as an economic zone, ‘I-Heaven’ and Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, the second phase of Hulhumale island, shifting of the current commercial harbor to Thilafushi and its development, and oil and gas exploration the Maldives. (Cihan/Xinhua)
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04.06.2014 15:32 - Maldives eyes "one-stop-shop" to promote foreign investment