As the Maldives Mission to the European Union details on its’ website:  “Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) has always played a crucial role in the economic development of the Maldives. The Government acknowledges the importance of foreign investment and continues to recognize its importance for economic development and employment creation.”

With this in mind, here’s our recent interview with Ali Naeem, the Managing Partner of CTL Strategies in the Maldives, with details about what opportunities exist for foreign investors in the Maldives:

What opportunities exist for foreign investors in the Maldives?

Historically, successive Maldivian Governments have always prioritized creating clear pathways to attract foreign investment and ensure that foreign investors can reap the financial benefits of establishing and doing business in the Maldives. As evident by one of the lowest direct income tax rates in the region and little or no border tariffs on imported goods, the Maldives has always made it a priority to reduce constraints on foreign businesses. In addition to that, the introduction of the Special Economic Zones Act – which provides a multitude of regulatory exemptions for foreign businesses interested in carrying out large foreign investments – and sustained annual growth in the tourism sector has provided opportunities for multi-national hotel owners and operators to expand into the tourism. Finally, the commissioning of several large-scale infrastructure projects by the government has allowed major foreign construction companies to enter the domestic construction sector as well.

What legal and tax considerations do foreign investors need to keep in mind when expanding into Maldives?

Foreign parties have few barriers to entry when investing in the Maldives. However, it is important to enlist the help of a skilled counsel with experience in both legal, administrative and tax requirements when establishing themselves in the Maldives as the choice of the business form can have different tax and legal implications. Some hurdles, such as certain restrictions on the types of enterprises allowed to be carried out by foreign parties, registration of a foreign investment, tax registration requirements and initial setup need to be overcome in the initial establishment phase of a foreign enterprise.

What range of support do foreign investors need when expanding into the Maldives?

When choosing to invest in the Maldives, it is important to engage the appropriate legal and tax experts to ensure that the foreign investor is informed of their predicted financial position, who can advise on choosing an appropriate form of business, who can advise on viable business structures that allow for minimal tax impact and, ensure that all safeguards are in place to protect that investment. In this regard, legal experts proficient with domestic commercial and tax law must be engaged to navigate any legal hurdles that may arise and financial experts, well versed in both, current acceptable commercial practices and, legally compliant tax practices are a necessity and will be a boon in reaping long term investment benefits.

What is CTL Strategies experience and expertise in helping foreign investors?

CTL Strategies is a multi-disciplinary law firm with a client portfolio consisting of foreign MNC’s and large businesses operating across several sectors in the Maldives. We are also a Business Service Agent approved by the Ministry of Economic Development and our clients engage us on various foreign investment related legal matters – from foreign investment registration to negotiating financing options on behalf of our clients. We have used our expertise in assisting several foreign parties in set up their hotel and resort operations in the Maldives and assisted them in structuring their business to maximise the return on their investment. We have also advised multi-national construction companies on setting up in the Maldives and, provided tax and legal advisory services throughout the duration of their projects.

Why choose CTL Strategies?

CTL Strategies is a premier tax and legal advisory firm in the Maldives. Our team of experienced corporate lawyers, chartered accountants and tax advisors give our clients, access to technical financial and tax advisory services, supplemented with the requisite legal services to ensure they get comprehensive solution to all their business needs. Our portfolio of legal and commercial advisory services, along with our specialization in all domestic taxation matters makes our firm the ideal choice when deciding to invest in the Maldives. CTL Strategies is amongst few local firms that can consider your commercial and tax position when advising you on setting up of and, expected legal outcomes of, your investment decisions.

 How can foreign investors contact CTL Strategies?

 If you’d like to contact us, you can contact our foreign investment practice group at ask@ctlstrategies.com or contact us by telephone on (+960) 795 6996. For further information on the services provided by us, please visit our website at www.ctlstrategies.com

 

Posted by John Grimley

John Grimley edits and publishes Asia Law Portal

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