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Maldives – Important Facts

Maldives is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a chain of 1,900 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls southwest of Sri Lanka and India. The archipelago has a strategic location astride and along major sea lanes in Indian Ocean. The government system is a republic; the chief of state and head of government is the president. Maldives has a mixed economic system which includes a variety of business and fiscal freedom, combined with centralized economic planning and government regulation. Maldives is a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Maldives has rapidly grown into a middle-income country, driven by tourism development. In 2015, the economy’s growth slowed to 4.8%, mainly due to lower tourism sector growth as tourist arrivals from China declined. However, the slowdown is expected to reverse in 2016. Tourism, construction, transport, and the communications sector accounted for 50% of the output on average. Tourism-related tax receipts increased by 13% in 2015 due to higher tax rates. This increase in dollar tax receipts directly led to higher usable reserves in 2015. The current account deficit widened to $400 million in 2015 due to increases in construction related imports. A large and growing fiscal deficit remains an ongoing economic challenge.

Diversifying the economy beyond tourism and fishing, reforming public finance, increasing employment opportunities, and combating corruption, cronyism, and a growing drug problem are near-term challenges facing the government. Over the longer term Maldivian authorities worry about the impact of erosion and possible global warming on their low-lying country; 80% of the area is 1 meter or less above sea level.

Important Details

  • Country ISO3 : MDV
  • Country Code : 462
  • Income Group : Upper Middle Income
  • Lending Category : IDA
  • Region : South Asia
  • Currency Unit: rufiyaa (Rf)
  • WTO Member : Yes
  • Trade organisations : WTO, SAFTA
  • world rank : 132
  • Regional Ranking : 28th in the Asia–Pacific Region