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Sri Lanka investments sought by Maldives
25 Jan, 2012 19:08:44
Jan 25, 2012 (LBO) - The Maldives is seeking more investments from Sri Lanka and plans to set up an investment agency similar to Sri Lanka's Board of Investment, officials said.
Maldivian Deputy High Commissioner Hussain Niyaz said the foreign policy of the new government elected in 2008 is to attract as many foreign direct investments to the Maldives as possible.

"In order to do this the government is ready to provide facilities to attract and facilitate new investments," he told a business forum organised by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL).

Ahmed Abdul Gaffoor, president of the Maldivian National Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Male, said tourism investments from Sri Lanka by firms like Aitken Spence and John Keels were held in high regard by Maldivians.

The Maldives was considering setting up an investment promotion agency to help foreign investors, he said.

"We look forward for tourism and other diversified investments. We're working with the government to set up something like your Board of Investment where we can channel investors to the right partners through chambers of commerce."

Gaffoor said many opportunities for trade and investment were opening up between the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

"A lot of Sri Lankan products are coming to the Maldivian market - new brands are being introduced."

Niyaz said Sri Lankan investments in tourism in the Maldives were increasing.

"Tourism in not the only viable industry in the Maldives. There are several others. If we can meet Sri Lankan businessmen to set up joint ventures in the Maldives and Sri Lanka, it would be a good way to bring both countries together."

Niyaz, the newly appointed Maldivian deputy high commissioner, said his role is to improve commercial diplomacy with Sri Lanka.

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