Saturday 24th Feb 2024
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Ministry of economic development and trade

Maldivian government introduces 'Foreign Investment Bill' in the parliament

Maldivian government introduces 'Foreign Investment Bill' which provides for a fine ranging from MVR 100,000 to MVR 1,000,000 if registered foreign investments in the country violate laws and regulations. In order to encourage and sustain foreign investors' willingness to invest in the country; the government has laid down the procedures to be followed for the promotion of investment at the international level. The areas where foreigners can invest in the country, and licensing foreign investors to invest in the country.
In order to promote investment in the country, the Act places the Ministry of Economic Affairs in charge of formulating and promoting international investment promotion policies.
In addition, The Minister has been empowered to identify areas where foreign investors can invest directly in the Maldives. These areas will have to be identified within three months of the bill becoming an act. The law lays down the parameters to be taken into consideration.
Since the bill becomes law, foreign investment can be set up in the country only if the ministry approves it and issues a special license. The ministry will have to come up with a set of rules specifying the procedure for requesting. It also lays down rules for transferring shares of local companies and partnerships to foreigners.
It also provides for protections and responsibilities that investors can enjoy. According to the bill, investors will have the right to take back the profits generated from investments in the investor's country.
However, the bill is not merely restrictive; it envisions a symbiotic relationship between the investor and the nation. It acknowledges the investor's rights, especially the entitlement to repatriate the profits accrued from their ventures back to their homeland.
It lays down rules for penalizing violations of investment norms. Violation of certain provisions of the bill attracts a penalty of up to 30 percent of the value of the investment. In other cases, fines ranging from MVR 100,000 to MVR 1,000,000 can be imposed. In addition to this, the bill provides for various procedures under which foreigners can work as contractors for a project in the Maldives.