Foreign investment policy amended to allow foreign companies to run airports

Hanimaadhoo International Airport. (Sun file photo)

The Foreign Direct Investment Policy of the Maldives (FDI) has been amended so that 100 percent of foreign companies and nationals can now run and operate airports in the Maldives. 

The amendments were published on the Economic Ministry website today and the FDI policy annex 1, Code H3 had now been amended.

Previously, the code stated that companies with foreign ownership shares of 75 percent are allowed to operate air transport services in the Maldives with a five-year operating period and an investment of USD 5 million. 

The amendments published today now state that 100 percent foreign companies can invest and provide air transport services, excluding freight services. Such foreign companies can also provide ground services, air traffic control services as well as airport operations including terminal facility services in the Maldives. 

Such investments still require a USD 5 million initial investment for five years. Companies will be allowed to operate for 50 years in the Maldives, once the government approves the investment. 

The amendment will be in effect starting from today. 

The amendments come amidst speculation that the northern Hanimaadhoo Airport is to be awarded to a foreign company for operations. The airport is being developed under the aid of the Exim Bank of India. 

FDI businesses operating in the Maldives are still required to register in the Maldives.