The Maldives economy is dependent on imports, and Indian MSMEs have great potential to export items of daily use such as food products, medicines, handicrafts, and garments, or invest in the service sector like banking, finance, and hotels, said members of MSME trade bodies from both countries, at a meeting in New Delhi, reported KNN.
The report mentioned Abdul Latheef, President, SME and Entrepreneurship Federation of Maldives (SEFM), saying, “The Maldives offers an attractive market for Indian goods and services as Maldives’ economy is totally dependent on imports.” Latheef’s SEFM delegation represented members from sectors such as travel and tourism, construction, IT, logistics, etc.
The meeting was also attended by representatives from the Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME). Mohan Suresh, former President, FISME, led this Indian delegation. The discussions on trade between the two countries were held after the return of political stability to the Maldives following elections in September 2018. India’s exports to the Maldives exceeds $ 200 million in 2017.
The report also mentioned the India-specific trade fair, Indian Expo, being organised in September 2019 by SEFM to help Indian SMEs boost the visibility of their products and services to Maldives’ businesses of Maldives.
Products and services exported by Indian SMEs would also be extensively used by tourists. Mohamed Abdul Sattar, General Secretary, SEFM, said, “The beaches of Maldives are considered one of the finest in the world and are ready to welcome more Indians as they don’t require a visa to enter the Maldives. Further, a large number of budget hotels and bed-and-breakfast type of accommodation have been added recently in the Maldives to cater to tourists of all categories.”
FISME is also promoting Indian MSMEs and their export-oriented industries to collaborate with Singapore. The trade body is organising the participation of over 100 Indian MSMEs in the Singapore export forum that seeks to promote India's export-oriented industries in the strategic ASEAN region.