'Proposed changes will not address issue of foreigners operating businesses'

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has stated that the amendments proposed to the Business Registration Act is not related to issue of foreigners conducting businesses in the Maldives.

The government submitted a bill on amendments to the Business Registration Act, on which several lawmakers, including those representing main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) expressed concern that the bill paved way for foreigners to run small businesses in the Maldives. The members referred to Article 6 of the amendments, which stated that foreigners can operate businesses in the Maldives after seeking permits under Foreign Investment Act.

Speaking at the Parliament on Wednesday to provide more information on the bill, Minister Fayyaz said that while foreigners operating businesses in the Maldives is a concern, the amendments to the act will not address the issue in any way as foreigners continue to carry out their business illegally by registering their business under a Maldivian's name. He added that the ministry is working on finding a way to monitor the issue.

"This law was not proposed to regulate foreign investments or foreign businesses. This law exists to facilitate businesses."said Fayyaz.

The amendments to the Business Registration Act aim to change the policies followed in registering businesses.