Discussions held on increasing European investment and trade

A conference is being held between the Economic Ministry and a delegation of the European Union (EU) to discuss increasing European investments and trade in the Maldives.

'Investing in the Maldives' conference began Monday morning at Hotel Jen.

Beginning the conference, Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail spoke on the areas which needs further development in trade and investment as well as limitations faced by the country.

Noting the role of the European market in the tourism sector, Minister Fayyaz said the government hopes to widen the European market to further expand tourism. The minister recognized while 49-50% of tourists visiting Maldives come from Europe, Europe would still remain the traditional market for Maldivian tourism despite any new markets that are introduced. He also expressed hope of strengthening ties with European nations while expanding the tourism industry.

Recognizing that the EU is a major trade partner, Minister Fayyaz acknowledged the challenges in exporting goods to European countries. The Minister further stated that the government is working to increase Maldivian exports, adding that he hopes to solve the issues faced in the following years.

"Our hopes are to solve these issues in the following years and increase fish exports to European countries", Minister Fayyaz said.

Minister Fayyaz also highlighted the Maldives' efforts to eradicate plastic and adopting environment-friendly practices in the production of goods. The government hopes to stop plastic use in Maldives by 2023, revealed the Minister.

The Minister said the conference serves as a platform to sit together and discuss ways to increase European investment and trade, and identifies ways in which the government could implement them at policy-level.

Several European investors currently working in Maldives as well as potential investors are taking part in the conference.