Economic diversification is needed to sustain growth

The Maldives is a physically and economically small, vulnerable developing country, heavily dependant for its prosperity on international trade. Real GDP growth averaged 7,4% between 2003 and 2008, driven mainly by the tourism sector. However growth is expected to contract by 1,3% in 2009 due to a decline in tourism activity, according to a WTO Secretariat report on the trade policies and practices of the Maldives.

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The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government, will be the basis for the Trade Policy Review (TPR) by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO.

Given the concentration of the economic activity in few areas, the report highlights that to be able to sustain growth, the country needs to diversify the economy, specially in light of its expected graduation from least developed country (LDC) status in 2011, and to create a viable tax structure. Diversifying the economy would require significant private sector involvement, for which a conducive business environment also needs to be created, the report notes.

The Secretariat report also states that the Maldives’ tariff remains unduly complex and its level and structure is a major potential distortion to the allocation of resources and domestic efficiency, and an impediment to the competitiveness of the economy.

The report, along with a policy statement by the Government of Maldives, will be the basis for the second Trade Policy Review (TPR) of the Maldives by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO on 26 and 28 of October 2009.

he following documents are available in MS Word format.


Note  back to top

Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. For each review, two documents are prepared: a policy statement by the government of the member under review, and a detailed report written independently by the WTO Secretariat. These two documents are then discussed by the WTO’s full membership in the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). These documents and the proceedings of the TPRB’s meetings are published shortly afterwards.

Print copies of previous TPR publications are available for sale from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Genève 21 and through the on-line bookshop.

The TPR publications are also available from our co-publisher Bernan Press, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391, United States.


Schedule of forthcoming reviews  back to top

Southern African Customs Union (SACU): 4 and 6 November 2009
Niger/Senegal: 11 and 13 November 2009
Georgia: 8 and 10 December 2009



Full list of previous TPRs


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