Sri Lanka investors wooed by Maldives

Jan 04, 2009 (LBO) – The new government in the Maldives, in move to privatize the economy, is looking at selling state-owned businesses and becoming more investor friendly, the Maldivian leader said on a visit to Colombo.

We come here to open the country for business. We are looking at an ambitious decentralization program. We have some state-owned ‘white elephants’ that we are looking at offering to Sri Lankan businesses that are interested in investing in Maldives, said President Mohamed Nasheed.

The Maldivian government does not want to be the majority share holder when it is privatized.

Nasheed, who is on a three-day official visit to Sri Lanka, told local media that he is inviting existing Sri Lankan investors in the Maldives to diversify their business and move into other areas of the economy in future.

Sri Lankan investments are heavily concentrated in the lucrative high-end hotels sector.

We are requesting Sri Lankan companies to diversify their business from tourism to power, transport, port, airport and infrastructure. We are looking at investments in social security sectors such as healthcare and education.

Galle Face Hotel is investing in an island that has a