Abill has been submitted to the parliament which proposes a fine up to MVR 1 million for foreign investors found in violations of laws.
The objective of the bill, submitted by Manadhoo MP Ahmed Haroon, on behalf of the government, is to create a legal framework that delineates sectors in which foreign investors are permitted to invest within the Maldives and to establish regulations on the issuance of licenses for such investors alongside the protections and safeguards they are entitled to.
It is also aimed at establishing the circumstances under which such investments can be expropriated by the state and the policies surrounding compensation in such a case. Furthermore, the bill also aimed to set down policies on the issuance of licenses for foreign contractors.
As per the bill, a foreign party can only carry out any investment-related work in the Maldives after seeking the license as stipulated under this act, and only after the approval for the foreign investment and the license has been received.
The record of investors awarded licenses shall be maintained by the relevant Ministry in accordance with regulations formulated once this bill becomes law.
While the Ministry reserves the right to withhold or nullify any such license issued – grounds for such actions may include bankruptcy of the investor, failure to carry out any work from one year of obtaining the license, or carrying out a work contradictory to the work permitted to actually undertake.
According to the bill, if the Ministry revokes an investor’s license, they will still need to settle all payments owed to the state and pay the salaries of all staff employed in relation to the investment.
However, the bill includes a provision, as part of the protections and safeguards investors are entitled to, which stipulates the state cannot expropriate any investment without plausible cause and without adequately compensating the investor.
The bill prohibits foreign investments from the following;
Failure to comply with instructions from the ministry regarding violations of the license within the stipulated timeframe without probable cause
Submitting false information to acquire a foreign investment license
Under the bill, the investor will be provided a stipulated timeframe to adhere to instructions from the ministry regarding violations of the law. If the investor fails to comply with the instructions, they will be penalized based on the severity of the violation.
Penalties stated in the bill include;
If found to have been operating an unpermitted business, a fine no greater than 30 percent of the whole investment can be imposed
If found to have submitted false information to acquire the foreign investment license – can impose a fine between MVR 100,000 and MVR 1 million
Can impose a fine between MVR 100,000 and MVR 1 million for any violation of the law, based on the severity of the violation; or a fine amounting to 10 percent of the investment.
Discussions held on exempting tariff from Maldivian fish exports to Türkiye
Maldivian Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer has revealed that discussions were held on Tuesday, regarding exempting duty levied on fisheries products imported to Türkiye from the Maldives.
Minister Zameer said the discussion took place during a meeting between Maldivian President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu and Türkiye’s Deputy Minister of Trade Mustafa Tuzcu as part of the ongoing official visit to President Muizzu to Türkiye.
Zameer said easier access for Maldives fish products to Türkiye market was also noted during the meeting. At the same time, discussions also focused on opportunities for enhancing trade and cooperation between the Maldives and Türkiye, including removing the tariff on Maldivian fish exports to Türkiye.
Discussions focused on exploring new areas of cooperation, such as tourism, construction, and renewable energy generation. They also addressed enhancing partnerships in existing areas of cooperation, both bilateral and multilateral.
He expressed confidence that Maldives-Türkiye relations will reach new heights through greater trade cooperation.
The meeting was also attended by other cabinet ministers accompanying President Muizzu in his ongoing visit. During the meeting, the President expressed his desire to deepen bilateral cooperation in commerce and investment between the Maldives and Türkiye. The President underscored the Maldives’ eagerness to explore opportunities for increased trade and investment with Türkiye, emphasizing that the aspirations for greater national development resonate deeply with the Maldivian people.
He also suggested increasing Turkish Airlines flights to the Maldives, considering the nation’s potential as a hub connecting the West to the East.
In conclusion, the President expressed optimism that Maldives- Türkiye cooperation would reach new heights during his tenure.
During the visit, the President also met with the Maldivian community residing in Türkiye where he pledged to work on remedying difficulties faced due to the dollar limit imposed on Bank of Maldives (BML) cards.
President Muizzu also called on the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Sri Lanka to sign FTA with Thailand in February: Colombo
COLOMBO, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — Sri Lanka plans is expected to sign the Sri Lanka-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in February 2024, Sri Lanka’s cabinet spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena told reporters on Tuesday.
At a press conference, Gunawardena said the agreement will be signed following the completion of negotiations by December 2023.
The cabinet has approved the free trade agreement, which will see 80 percent of tariff lines liberalized over 15 years, he said.
Sri Lanka is Thailand’s fourth-largest trading partner in South Asia, and Sri Lanka’s main exports to Thailand include gems, jewellery, tea, spices, fiber and metal products, according to official data.
In 2021, Sri Lanka imported goods from Thailand worth 355 million U.S. dollars and exported 59 million dollars’ worth of commodities to Thailand, according to official data.
Fenaka slapped with MVR 4M fine
Fenaka Corporation has been slapped with MVR 4 million fine for building power houses at 21 islands without completion of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) process.
In a statement on Sunday, Environment Protection Agency (EPA) said they investigated Fenaka for building powerhouses at 21 islands without completing the EIA process. Following their investigation, EPA said they have fined Fenaka by MVR 4,200,000.
EPA’s statement read that information received during the investigation and the documents exchanged between the two parties established that physical works on the powerhouses commenced without completing the EIA process.
They also noted that Fenaka had been previously fined for violating the regulations of EIA.
The 21 islands where physical works on the powerhouses commenced without completion of EIA are;
Fenaka Has been instructed by EPA to settle the fine within 30 days, starting today.
EPA also called on Fenaka to adhere to regulations while undertaking projects.
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