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Maldives Economy Profile 2019

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Economy - overview

Maldives has quickly become a middle-income country, driven by the rapid growth of its tourism and fisheries sectors, but the country still contends with a large and growing fiscal deficit. Infrastructure projects, largely funded by China, could add significantly to debt levels. Political turmoil and the declaration of a state of emergency in February 2018 led to the issuance of travel warnings by several countries whose citizens visit Maldives in significant numbers, but the overall impact on tourism revenue was unclear.

In 2015, Maldives’ Parliament passed a constitutional amendment legalizing foreign ownership of land; foreign land-buyers must reclaim at least 70% of the desired land from the ocean and invest at least $1 billion in a construction project approved by Parliament.

Diversifying the economy beyond tourism and fishing, reforming public finance, increasing employment opportunities, and combating corruption, cronyism, and a growing drug problem are near-term challenges facing the government. Over the longer term, Maldivian authorities worry about the impact of erosion and possible global warming on their low-lying country; 80% of the area is 1 meter or less above sea level.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$6.901 billion (2017 est.)
$6.583 billion (2016 est.)
$6.3 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$4.505 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
4.8% (2017 est.)
4.5% (2016 est.)
2.2% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$19,200 (2017 est.)
$18,600 (2016 est.)
$18,100 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
0.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
-4.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
12.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: NA (2016 est.)
government consumption: NA (2016 est.)
investment in fixed capital: NA (2016 est.)
investment in inventories: NA (2016 est.)
exports of goods and services: 93.6% (2016 est.)
imports of goods and services: 89% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 3% (2015 est.)
industry: 16% (2015 est.)
services: 81% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line
15% (2009 est.)
Labor force
222,200 (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 7.7%
industry: 22.8%
services: 69.5% (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate
2.9% (2017 est.)
3.2% (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 15.9%
male: 19.1%
female: 12.1% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 33.3% (FY09/10)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
38.4 (2009 est.)
37.4 (2004 est.)
Budget
revenues: 1.19 billion (2016 est.)
expenditures: 1.643 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
26.4% (of GDP) (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-10.1% (of GDP) (2016 est.)
Public debt
63.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
61.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
2.3% (2017 est.)
0.8% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
7% (30 September 2017)
7% (30 September 2016)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
10.5% (31 December 2012 est.)
10.2% (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$908.6 million (31 October 2017 est.)
$865.9 million (31 October 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$1.982 billion (31 October 2017)
$2.043 billion (31 October 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$1.559 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$1.601 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$555 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Agriculture - products
coconuts, corn, sweet potatoes; fish
Industries
tourism, fish processing, shipping, boat building, coconut processing, woven mats, rope, handicrafts, coral and sand mining
Industrial production growth rate
14% (2012 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$876 million (2017 est.)
-$1.033 billion (2016 est.)
Exports
$256.2 million (2016 est.)
$239.8 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities
fish
Exports - partners
Thailand 42.8%, Sri Lanka 8.7%, Bangladesh 6.4%, France 6.2%, US 6.1%, Germany 5%, Ireland 4.6% (2017)
Imports
$2.125 billion (2016 est.)
$1.896 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities
petroleum products, clothing, intermediate and capital goods
Imports - partners
UAE 17.1%, India 13.5%, Singapore 13.3%, China 10.8%, Sri Lanka 6.7%, Malaysia 6%, Thailand 4.5% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$477.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$575.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external
$848.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$696.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$324 million (31 December 2015)
$256 million (31 December 2013)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$448 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$307.7 million (31 December 2015)
Exchange rates
rufiyaa (MVR) per US dollar -
15.42 (2017 est.)
15.35 (2016 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on December 7, 2019