While the exports from Maldives to India are of not much significance, the imports from India to the Maldives are quite substantial. There has been a steady increase in the imports particularly during the last few years.
The Government of Maldives has liberalized trade and investment policies for foreign investors and there exist a favourable, investor-friendly business environment in the country. Likewise the booming Indian economy is open to investors in different sectors of development. For investment and business opportunities in Maldives and India, investors of either country could use business organizations and institutions as vehicles to promote their business entrepreneurship.
These bodies further provide a variety of business facilitation services by closely working with Government and business promotion organizations in India and the Maldives. They also play host to the high-level Government dignitaries who visit our two countries and help build close working relationships between Governments and business.
Major activities of these bodies include exchange of business delegations and joint task forces that help identify the bilateral business co-operation and its potentiality and make suitable policy recommendations to Governments. Business cooperation along with the inter-governmental undertakings is also facilitated through Government and business synergy by promoting business linkages for investment in tourism, trade and other joint ventures.
According to the latest trade data available, the value of total merchandise exports fell to US$14.2 million at the end of February 2009, registering a monthly decrease of 19 percent and a fall of 41 percent compared to the corresponding month of 2008.
Total merchandise imports (f.o.b) totalled US$59.7 million, declining by 19 percent compared to the previous month while it fell by 56 percent compared to the corresponding month of 2008. Thus, the trade deficit decreased to US$45.6 million from US$56.7 million in January 2009 and US$113.1 million in February 2008.
Earnings on total merchandise exports during the fi rst two months of 2009 stood at US$31.6 million, indicating a drop of 46 percent (or US$27.5 million) compared to the same period of 2008. Similarly, the value of merchandise imports (f.o.b) for this period, which totalled US$133.9 million, decreased by 45 percent (or US$108.6 million) over the corresponding period of 2008. Hence, the trade deficit stood at US$102.3 million in comparison to US$183.4 million in 2008.
Reflecting the slowdown in tourism activity, gross international reserves declined to US$223.4 million at the end of the review month, from US$224.6 million at the end of last month, although reserves in terms of import cover increased slightly to 2.1 months from 2.0 months in January 2009 due to the decline in imports. When compared with February 2008, gross international reserves showed a decline of US$86.4 million while reserves in months of imports dropped by 0.9 months.